Claudio Ranieri: Watford manager says he can beat Roy Hodgson's record as Premier League's oldest boss

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Claudio Ranieri: "I am so young, and I want to keep going"

Claudio Ranieri, Watford's boss, believes he can surpass Roy Hodgson to be the Premier League's oldest manager.

The Italian, who turned 70 four days ago, takes over Watford's management for the first-time at Liverpool on Saturday.

Hodgson left Crystal Palace just two months before his birthday in May.

"Why not?" Ranieri said to BBC Sport that he would continue as a manager as long as Hodgson. "I'm so young. "I don't feel [my] age."

Ranieri, who was the 2015-16 Premier League winner with Leicester City, said: "Football has become my life. I will continue if I feel good, if my emotions are strong, and if I feel that I have enough energy for my players, then I'm happy.

Hodgson was the former England boss and his career spanned 45 years. He is among Sir Alex Ferguson, Neil Warnock, and Sir Bobby Robson who are the only Premier League managers to have continued their work into their 70s.

After spells at Fulham, Leicester, and Chelsea Watford are Ranieri’s fourth Premier League team.

Ranieri, welcome back to the Premier League

"In Italy, this is the norm"

The Italian knows Watford's Pozzo family well - he nearly became manager of their Serie A club Udinese in his early career - but he also knows that they are strict about getting rid managers who don't meet their high standards.

Ranieri was given a contract for two years, but due to the 14 changes that have taken place since 2012 when the Pozzo family assumed control of Vicarage Road, the Watford managers are often only able to last a few months.

Ranieri said that it is common in Italy for managers to change their minds frequently. It was not common in England. However, many clubs in England have made significant changes."

Ranieri is well aware that Fulham fired him in 2019, after only 106 days of his leadership. Ranieri was also dismissed after leading Leicester to the 2016 Premier League title victory.

Ranieri's popularity will ensure that he is welcomed back to England.

Premier League legends have relegated the nickname "Tinkerman" he received at Chelsea and his famous catchphrase "Dilly-ding dilly-dong" he used at Leicester to ease the pressure on his players during the run-up to their historic achievement.

Ranieri showed a smile during his first round media interviews. Ranieri has a 35-year history and knows that a smile will never be enough if Watford fails to get positive results.

He said, "I can have as many laughs as I like." "If I don’t get any points, then the laughing is over."