After his appointment was ridiculed in the summer of 2015, Claudio Ranieri's remarkable run to the title last season with Leicester saw him become one of the most popular managers the Premier League has ever seen.
He was loved by Leicester fans for obvious reasons, but his sunny disposition and charming nature saw him become a darling of neutral fans, and of the press.
His sacking might not have come as a major shock, given his side's recent form, but the praise lavished on him by managers all over the league this afternoon shows just how highly his opponents rated him.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was the most vocal in his defence, sporting the initials CR on his shirt as he spoke to the press this afternoon. He even went as far as saying the club should re-name the King Power Stadium in Ranieri's honour. It all seems a bit hollow though, given how quickly replaced the Italian at Chelsea in 2004. He also famously called Ranieri a "loser" when the pair were managing in Serie A several years ago.
Jose Mourinho wears 'CR' on his shirt in tribute to Claudio Ranieri. Says Leicester should name stadium after him https://t.co/p6Vuaye0Ln pic.twitter.com/i1wPVJHwWd
— Sky Football âš½ï¸ (@SkyFootball) February 24, 2017
Leicester face Liverpool on Monday night, with Craig Shakespeare taking charge. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was also asked about Ranieri's dismissal this afternoon, going as far as comparing it to Brexit and the US Presidential election.
And current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was another who paid tribute to his friend Ranieri, adding that he'll give his fellow Italian some time to himself before phoning him.
"But I will call him, which is natural after this – to talk and to show my disappointment for this decision as I think it is very strong," he said.
Former Manchester City and Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is currently the favourite to take over at the King Power Stadium, having had a brief loan spell at Leicester before retiring as a player in 2001.