Lineker cries after Ranieri is sacked
Gary Lineker says he has been reduced to tears by Leicester City's decision to sack Claudio Ranieri.
The former Leicester striker thinks the club's move to axe Ranieri less than a year after he won the Premier League against all odds is a sad moment for modern football.
Lineker famously criticised the Italian's appointment in 2015 and lost a bet that meant he had to present the BBC's 'Match of the Day' in his underpants when they won the title.
But having been won over by Ranieri, he cannot believe what Leicester have done.
"It is very sad," he said to BBC Radio 4. "It is inexplicable to me. It is inexplicable to a lot football fans who love the game.
"I shed a tear last night for Claudio, for football and for my club.
"I suppose you can explain it in terms of a panic decision and for me a wrong decision. It is a sign of modern football.
"What happened last season was truly extraordinary. The lack of gratitude from the owners of the club and who knows who else involved in such a decision beggars belief.
"That season will remain with us forever, it was truly special and a lot of that was down to the management.
"The same guy cannot be considered incapable of doing the job a few months later after achieving what, for me, was the biggest miracle in sport."
Claudio Ranieri? Sacked? Really? Dilly Ding Dilly Game's Gone.-- Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 23, 2017
After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.-- Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 23, 2017
Lineker thinks Leicester will lose much of their global popularity after dismissing the 65-year-old, who had overseen a run of five straight league defeats that left them just one point above the relegation zone.
He continued: "For a club like Leicester to win the league last season, the magnificence of the story, the likeability of the club under Ranieri - the ultimate gentleman - it kind of demeans the club.
"Leicester were hugely popular right around the world. To do something like this now loses a lot of that popularity."
In the immediate aftermath of Ranieri's sacking, Lineker wrote on Twitter that the decision was "inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad".