Claudio Ranieri explained why his approach to football is “closer to Max Allegri” than Maurizio Sarri. “Abroad they are not as maniacal about tactics.”

The Nantes Coach weighed in on the debate ripping Serie A apart: is it better to win like Allegri’s Juventus or to play beautiful football like Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli?

“I am closer to Allegri’s idea of football. He has an organisation that then leaves the players free (or as free as they can be in modern football) to express themselves,” Ranieri told the Corriere dello Sport.

“Of course, I really like Sarri’s Napoli too. If your objective is to keep the ball and move it around until you find a pathway to goal, then that’s fine.

“I also loved the Netherlands side of Rinus Michels, and remember it with pleasure, but it didn’t win. If you want to copy that style of football without having the players suited to it, then no, that’s no good.

“This idea that there is a specific system that can take you to victory more easily than another is simply not true. It’s grotesque just to think it.

“In Italy we have a rich approach to football because there are so many tactical systems and no two teams are alike. It’s important to know how to change and adapt during a game, so Allegri proved time and again that he is formidable in that sense.

“I also say Allegri is right on another issue, which is not trapping kids in tactics, but giving them freedom to explore their technique, their creativity. I can assure you, abroad they are not as maniacal about tactics as we are.

“My idea of beautiful football is this: create a solid collective and put it at the disposal of the champions within the squad, because if you get the best out of their characteristics, then you can have fun.

“During my career, I trained teams that embodied that concept, for example Gabriel Batistuta’s Fiorentina, the Valencia side that reached the Champions League Final twice, the Roma that was 30 minutes away from winning the Scudetto and Leicester City.

“All of these sides gave the impression they could score goals at any moment. Among the best, I also put Chelsea, who had a different approach and reached the Champions League semi-final.

“That Chelsea team had the highest possession percentage because I had players who had those characteristics.”

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