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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich a friendly handshake at their Champions League clash even though the Russian sacked him in 2004.

Ranieri was Blues boss when Abramovic bought the club in 2003 but was fired at the end of the season despite leading Chelsea to the Champions League semi-final and a second-placed Premier League finish.

The Italian, currently manager of Juventus, has insisted that he holds no hard feelings towards Abramovich ahead of their match at Stamford Bridge.

"Of course I will shake his hand," said Ranieri. "The last time I saw him was in the dressing room and he told me this would always be home to me.

"Even if we had won (the Champions League), I knew that my days were numbered - but I actually liked that.

"I never gave up, and that is part and parcel of my character. I don't think I've written much in the pages of history while I was here, though they were wonderful years."

Blues midfielder Frank Lampard, meanwhile, hailed the effect of the man who signed him on the club's legacy.

"He should take credit," said Lampard. "He brought a lot of important players to the team.

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