Claudio Ranieri will become 70-year-old on October 20, 2021, but he said he feels young enough to coach a bit longer in the Premier League.
The 69-year-old Italian tactician was named the coach of Watford on October 4, 2021, after the club sacked coach Xisco Munoz who helped the club to gain promotion to the Premier League last season.
Munoz was kicked out of the club after he led the club to record 2 wins, 1 draw, and 4 defeats. He left the club on the 15th spot with 7 points in 7 games.
Claudio Ranieri is expected to keep Watford in the Premier League this season but because of his experience in the league, the club’s fans are expecting him to do more for the club.
Recall that Claudio Ranieri helped Leicester City to win their first and only Premier League title during the 2015-2016 season. He also won the Premier League manager of the season in 2016.
The Italian tactician has coached Chelsea, Napoli, Inter Milan, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Monaco, Greece, and a host of other teams.
In an interview with BBC Sport, Claudio Ranieri said he could surpass Roy Hodgson as the Premier League’s oldest manager.
Hodgson retired as a football manager at Crystal Palace in May 2021, just over two months before his 74th birthday.
He retired from the career after 45 years and became one of the few coaches that manage a Premier League club into his 70s. Coaches in that category include Sir Alex Ferguson, Neil Warnock, and Sir Bobby Robson.
Claudio Ranieri who signed a two-year deal with Watford could be the latest member of the category of coaches if he can impress Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family beyond this season.
When asked if he could become the oldest Premier League coach, Claudio Ranieri said: “Why not? I am so young. I don’t feel [my age].”
“Football is my life. If I feel good, if I feel emotion, if I feel I have enough energy to give to my players, I want to continue.”
Claudio Ranieri knows he is on the hot seat at Watford
Since the Pozzo family took over Watford in 2012, the family is regarded as ruthless in terms of hiring and firing coaches.
Between 2012 and 2021, the Italian family has changed the coaches of the club 14 times. Most of the coaches that had worked at the club spent months before they are kicked out.
In reaction to that, Claudio Ranieri who has two years to impress the family said it is not strange for clubs to change coaches in Italian football. He acknowledged the fact that some English clubs have embraced the culture of often changing coaches.
“In Italy, it is normal to change the manager,” he said.
“We have to do our best, I can’t think about the previous manager.
“Xisco was my player at Valencia, I hope he can find a new solution very soon.
“Now, I have to do my best for Watford.”
On how he feels about his return to the Premier League, the coach added: “I feel good. Fortunately, I feel good. When I think about football, life is good. Football is my life.
“I am very happy to play in one of the best leagues in the world. I am an ambitious man and I hope to bring Watford to be safe at the end of the season and to improve.
“We have to be safe. The program is very ambitious and then I hope it will be a fantastic end for Watford and our fans.”
Claudio Ranieri’s first test as Watford coach comes up on October 16 when the club is scheduled to take on Liverpool. The Premier League game will kick off at 12:30.