CLAUDIO RANIERI has started work as Cagliari's manager – 31 years after he left the club.
The Serie B side had earlier confirmed the 71-year-old's return with a post on Twitter referencing his famous "dilly-ding, dilly-dong" catchphrase.
On December 23, the Italian side uploaded a picture of a giant bell covered in the words "dilidin" and "dilidon" before sharing a tweet saying: "A thirty-year wait. Welcome home, Mister."
Ranieri masterminded Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016 and revealed he would shake an imaginary bell and say the line to the Foxes' players if he thought they were lacking concentration.
He arrived in Cagliari today to start his 23rd job in football management.
The former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Juventus boss had sought assurances from the club's president Tommaso Giulini and sporting director Nereo Bonato ahead of taking charge for a second time.
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During his first spell as manager, he led the club to successive promotions from the third division to Serie A after taking charge in 1988.
He takes over from Fabio Liverani, who left in December, with the club 11th place in the Italian second tier following their relegation last season.
Ranieri said: "I'm going back to Cagliari. I've always known it, I declared it even then, at the time of my departure.
"Cagliari made me understand that maybe I could make it in my job, I had found all the elements that helped me in those three years: fans, players, managers, we were all one.
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"In these days you have helped me make this decision, which was not easy for various reasons. We are bound by mutual respect and love, many beautiful memories.
"For this, I come with unchanged enthusiasm, love and passion, but I alone is not enough.
"The help of the club will be needed, which strongly wanted me, my new boys, our fans will be needed, especially them, to push our Cagliari to the results that we all strongly hope for."
He has signed a deal with Cagliari until June 2025.
Ranieri's last managerial post in Italy was with Sampdoria where he was in charge between 2019 to January 2021.
He has been without a club since being sacked by Watford last season after a return of seven points in three months. The Hornets were eventually relegated from the Premier League.
He has also had stints in charge of Napoli, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Roma, Fulham and the Greece national side during his lengthy career.
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