Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has hailed Manchester United as ‘the giants of world football’ while also lauding Red Devils manager Louis van Gaal as one of the best in the game.

Though, Ranieri reflected on how his Valencia side beat the 64-year-old Dutchman three times in 10 days while he was coach at Barcelona in 1999.

“I remember it well,” Ranieri recalled in an interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

“On February 18, 3-2 at Barcelona in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

“On February 24, 4-3 to us at the Mestalla in the return leg and the 27 4-2 at the Nou Camp in La Liga.

“At the end of the season we won the Copa del Rey, beating Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the final. We had a great squad.”

United travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester on Saturday in the Barclays Premier League and Foxes boss Ranieri whose side sit top of the league table after 13 matches foresees the encounter as a ‘big challenge’.

“It is a big challenge,” Ranieri added.

“Manchester United are a giant of world football and Van Gaal is one of the best.”


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