Claudio Ranieri, the 71-year-old manager, has once again created a remarkable story as Cagliari secured promotion back to Serie A on Monday. Ranieri, who famously led Leicester City to Premier League glory in the 2015-16 season, added another chapter to his career with this achievement, albeit in a different setting and under high pressure.
Cagliari managed to secure a 1-1 draw against Bari in the first leg of their play-off final. In the second leg, a last-minute victory over Bari ensured Cagliari’s promotion back to Serie A. Leonardo Pavoletti’s goal in injury time sealed their fate for the upcoming season.
In the dying moments of the game, Cagliari made a final push against Bari. Just as it appeared that the match was slipping away, six minutes of stoppage time was added. Gabriele Zappa delivered an excellent cross, and Leonardo Pavoletti managed to evade his marker and expertly volleyed the ball into the net. With this crucial goal, Cagliari secured their promotion back to Serie A after spending only one season in Serie B.
The emotions were overwhelming for Ranieri after the match, and tears flowed freely. Pavoletti’s goal provided a joyful conclusion to yet another remarkable story in Ranieri’s career.
Just a year ago, Ranieri had to leave Watford after a 3-0 home defeat by Norwich City left the team second from the bottom of the Premier League table with only 14 points from 20 matches.
Ranieri has had a special connection with the Italian club since taking over as manager. This was his third time guiding Cagliari to promotion in his illustrious career. In the early stages of his managerial journey, he led the club to back-to-back promotions, propelling them from Serie C to Serie A within two seasons. With a contract that runs until 2025, Ranieri now aims to take the club to even greater heights.