Claudio Ranieri praises last season's title rival Mauricio Pochettino and his Tottenham project

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

The Leicester City manager believes Pochettino was an "exemplary" rival last season.

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has told La Gazzetta dello Sport, as cited by the Daily Star, that Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was an "exemplary" rival in the Premier League title chase last season.

Pochettino led Spurs to their finest season in recent memory last term as his project began to reap reward at White Hart Lane, as the North London club threatened to win their first title since 1961.

However, they were ultimately outfought and outshone by Leicester, as Ranieri led the Foxes to a fairytale triumph to secure the club's and his first ever league title.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and Tottenham manager Maurcio Pochettino

Despite falling short, Pochettino guided Spurs to 3rd, their highest league finish since 1990, and a return to the group stages of the Champions League.

Ranieri has nothing but praise for the man who pushed him so hard last term, and believes the Argentine boss is a model of what a top-class manager should be.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri before the game

The veteran Italian told La Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by the Daily Star: "Pochettino was an exemplary rival in the race between Leicester and Tottenham. He's working wonderfully."

Pochettino has done good work in the transfer market so far this summer as he looks to strengthen his squad for the dual challenge of again competing for a domestic title whilst juggling that ambition with a Champions League campaign.

He has brought in combative midfielder Victor Wanyama from his former club Southampton as well as adding prolific Dutch striker Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar as he looks to prepare his side for this season.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

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