Claudio Ranieri’s lengthy coaching career has taken him far and wide, but never before has the 62-year-old stood at the helm of a national side.
Ranieri has taken charge of at least one club in four of Europe’s top five leagues - only the Bundesliga missing from his CV - having most recently added Monaco to his list of former employers.
The Italian guided the Principality outfit to second place in Ligue 1 last season after winning promotion from France’s second flight the year before.
Backed by billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev’s financial muscle, he was tasked with integrating expensive stars such as Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez and challenging fellow nouveau-riche giants PSG for the title in Le Championnat.
And Ranieri did well enough in both respects in the past campaign, but nonetheless found himself replaced by Leandro Jardim as Monaco wanted a coach better known for stylish attacking play.
It’s not the first time Ranieri has lost his job after guiding his team to a second place finish. Premier League fans will remember that the Italian was sacked by Roman Abramovich in favour of Jose Mourinho in 2004 despite guiding Chelsea to a record points tally.
This time around, however, it doesn’t seem he’ll be finding a new club. Ranieri has been linked with the Greece post for some time, looking ready to make the leap to the international scene.
And according to Gazzetta dello Sport, he’s agreed a two-year deal to take charge of the Ethniki with an eye towards Euro 2016. The Italian paper has maintained that Ranieri’s appointment as current boss Fernando Santos’ successor will be confirmed in the days following the World Cup final.
If and when Ranieri is presented as Greece’s new coach, it will signal a new chapter in his career in the dugout. After managing 14 clubs - including some giants of Europe - moving to international football would present a new challenge for Ranieri, who began his journey as a coach with Italian minnows Vigor Lamezia in 1986.