The giant German centre-back explained how the Italian has mellowed over the years:
"He has changed quite a lot, in my opinion. He is much more relaxed. I've never seen him laugh so much."
With Leicester charging towards their capture of the Premier league title, it is refreshing that Ranieri is portraying such a calm exterior to his squad. That level of control is sure to rub off on the players, and the former Chelsea defender admits they are focused and relaxed in their pursuit of glory:
"Our daily routine is the same, our match-day routine is the same, and obviously people are getting more excited the closer we get to the finish line. From our point of view, we are as relaxed and as focused as we were against Sunderland on the first day of the season many, many months ago."
The Foxes have been relentless in the Premier League of late, not conceding a goal in their last four outings, and taking maximum points from those four games.
They travel to The Stadium of Light on Saturday to face Sunderland, with the hosts fighting for survival. It will be a game where the outcome will have huge repercussions at both ends of the table.