Watford have appointed former Chelsea, Fulham and Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri as their new manager. The Premier League club dismissed Xisco Munoz after 10 months in charge. The managerial change is the first of the new season, and the 14th under the Pozzo family who own the club.
“Ranieri will be joined at Watford by Assistant Coaches Paolo Benetti and Carlo Cornacchia, as well as Fitness Coach Carlo Spignoli,” Watford confirmed on their official website as part of the announcement. The 69-year-old was most recently in charge of Serie A club Sampdoria and left them this summer. He has now returned to the Premier League to help the Hornets complete their season strong.
The coach was approached by several other Italian clubs, but accepted the proposal from Watford in the end. He has signed a two-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2023, if they keep him that long. The track record for managers at Vicarage Road has not been very promising, and the board will probably not hesitate to pull the trigger on Ranieri if things don’t go according to plan either.
The biggest accomplishment of Ranieri’s managerial career remains the miraculous Premier League title win with Leicester City. The Italian overcame 5000/1 odds with the Foxes to help them win the title by defeating the entirety of the Big Six in the process. Ranieri was awarded the best coach by FIFA in 2016, owing to his success with Leicester.
The new manager will take charge of Watford for the first time against Liverpool on the other side of the international break.