May 20, 2016 / 1:44 PM / 3 years ago

Italy bestows honor on Leicester manager Ranieri

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri (L) poses with the Golden Palm award next to the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malago during a ceremony in Rome, Italy May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

ROME (Reuters) - Claudio Ranieri has received an honor from the Italian president after the soccer manager led rank outsiders Leicester City to the top of the English Premier League.

Ranieri, a native of Rome, was made a “Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic”, a spokeswoman for the presidency said on Friday.

Leicester, 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, beat the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal to a win that stunned fans of the sport around the world.

When the English club sealed their victory, fans in Rome displayed a banner in Ranieri’s honor in the neighborhood where his parents once ran a butcher’s shop.

The 64 year-old has also managed Italian teams Fiorentina, Napoli and Roma, Spain’s Atletico Madrid and Chelsea in England.

Other Grand Officers named on the same honors list include “Cinema Paradiso” director Giuseppe Tornatore, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and businessman Alessandro Benetton.

Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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