Proud to pass torch to compatriot: Ranieri

Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri waving to fans before the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge in London on May 15, 2016. File Photo: AFP

Former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri says he is proud to pass the Premier League torch to a fellow countryman as Chelsea's Antonio Conte became the fourth Italian to win the title.

Revived by Conte after finishing 10th last term in defence of the title won in 2014-15, the Blues clinched the trophy with a 1-0 win at West Brom on Friday night thanks to a late Michy Batshuayi goal.

Conte has now followed in the footsteps of Roberto Mancini, Carlo Ancelotti, and Ranieri, who was sacked in February after Leicester slid down the table following their incredible success last season.

"I am proud to pass the torch of the Premier League to Antonio Conte: from one Italian to another, a great recognition of our school of management," Ranieri told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"After the fairytale of my Leicester, this splendid Chelsea adventure. It was not easy to get it at the first attempt, but Conte passed his exam with flying colours on his debut in English football.

"Antonio did a great job in every sense: dealing with the team, his rapport with the outside world and relations with the media. Having said all that, the fundamental issue remains the work of the coach."

Conte, meanwhile, set his sights on further glories as they seek to complete a double in his first season by winning the FA Cup final against Arsenal on May 27.

"This is a dream that is coming true,'' said Conte, who has won four successive domestic championships after three with Juventus. "I think that now it's very important to enjoy this moment and to celebrate this win. To win in England is not easy.

"Don't forget last season was a bad season for the club, for the players, for the fans. Only one year later to celebrate this win in a league where there are for me big, big teams with great players, great managers, it's great.

“It's important to celebrate now. We have also another target to try to reach. We worked very hard to reach the final in the FA Cup.”