Ranieri leads coach of the year market
The 10-man shortlist for the FIFA World Coach of the Year award has been announced with Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri the clear bookies' favourite. Wales manager Chris Coleman has also made the shortlist as have Ranieri's fellow Premier League bosses Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.
It is however Ranieri that is currently seen as the man to beat in the eyes of the bookmakers with the 65-year-old odds-on with Skybet at present to scoop the accolade. He was the mastermind behind Leicester's incredible Premier League title win last season, a feat imagined by virtually nobody at the start of the season and available at a price of 5000/1 with the bookies. It was one of the all-time great sporting achievements and very few could argue if Ranieri was to triumph. If he were to win it, Ranieri would be the first ever manager of a Premier League club to do although both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have won the award with their previous clubs Internazionale and Barcelona.
Zinedine Zidane is at present the second favourite behind Ranieri with the Frenchman having won the Champions League with Real Madrid in his first ever season as a manager. Real were also close to securing their first La Liga title since 2011-12 although they ultimately could not quite reel Barcelona in as they finished one point adrift. Zidane has enjoyed a successful start to this season also and undoubtably has a bright future in management. However odds of around the 6/1 mark in comparison to Ranieri suggest his chances here are limited.
Third on the list on the betting is Portugal boss Fernando Santos, who led his country to success at Euro 2016. The extra-time win in the final over France gave Portugal their first ever win in a major international tournament and Santos' contribution has been fairly recognised. Despite possessing a certain Cristiano Ronaldo in their ranks as well as a number of other talented individuals, nobody really tipped Portugal for success in the summer but like Leicester, the Portuguese defied the odds to triumph. Without taking anything away from them and Santos however, it was not quite on the Leicester-scale so it is no surprise to see the Portugal boss trail Ranieri in the betting at odds of 7/1.
Chris Coleman also comes in at single figures at an available price of 9/1 with SkyBet after he led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 in another triumph for the underdogs. The competition was Wales' first since 1958 and they did not disappoint as they made the last four before falling to eventual winners Portugal. Pep Guardiola comes in at 25/1 whilst the other two Premier League bosses Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are the outsiders at 66/1.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has also been included on the list as has his La Liga counterpart Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid. France manager Didier Deschamps is the final man on the list after leading his country to the Euro 2016 final on home soil.