Claudio Ranieri has admitted news of his dismissal as Leicester manager came as a huge shock.
The 65-year-old Italian was removed from his post in February, nine months after leading the Foxes to an unexpected Premier League title.
Ranieri has kept a low profile since, but appeared on stage this week at Rebibbia prison in his homeland in a ceremony to honour regional football coaches in Italy.
And speaking in front of inmates, he revealed his astonishment at being told of his sacking, which came the day after Leicester’s first-leg defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League last 16 – a tie they eventually went on to win.
“Thinking of Leicester, the first thing that comes to mind is the sense of surprise, even more than bitterness,” said Ranieri, in quotes reported by Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I have been through a lot in my long career, but never anything like this.
“It was a shock, but in the end these things are part of football.”