Claudio Ranieri, who famously led Leicester City to a surprise Premier League title in 2016, has announced his retirement from football at the age of 72.

The Italian's final match as a manager took place during Cagliari's 3-2 home defeat to Fiorentina on Thursday, where he received an enthusiastic reception from fans at the Sardegna Arena, along with a guard of honour from his players.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ranieri, who previously managed Cagliari in 1988, expressed, "There is a beginning and an end to everything. It is only fair: to close the circle in this way, where I had started, is something I dreamed of and the dream was wonderful."

Ranieri, recognized for leading Leicester to a remarkable Premier League title, has also managed several Serie A teams including Juventus, AS Roma, and Inter Milan. He has also overseen Chelsea, Fulham, and Watford in the Premier League, as well as Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain's LaLiga.

Reflecting on his career, Ranieri stated, "Luck does not fall on you, it has to be sought. I was a lucky man: I wanted to be a footballer, and I managed to do it. Then when I was 30 I tried to understand if I understood soccer, I tried and I succeeded."

He added, "As a soccer player I was not a great champion, but as a coach I had a lot of fun. For me, it was an honor to be in the world of soccer."

Cagliari president, Tommaso Giulini, commended Ranieri's impact on the club during a ceremony after Thursday's match, saying, "I don't want to talk about what the coach did in Cagliari. You all know that. I would like to focus on what he leaves us with: grace, loyalty, determination, and courage, the most beautiful values of sports. Thank you, Claudio!"