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Mourinho pays tribute to axed Leicester boss Ranieri

From the king of Leicester to another manager on the Premier League scrapheap, Claudio Ranieri sensationally lost his job Thursday but received the support of his peers, including Jose Mourinho.

Leicester showed there is no room for sentiment on Thursday when they sacked Premier League-winning boss Ranieri.

Ranieri and Leicester had produced one of the greatest and remarkable feats in professional sport when they hoisted the Premier League trophy aloft in May but with relegation a real threat, the club's hierarchy decided to act in brutal fashion, despite Wednesdays' encouraging 2-1 Champions League first-leg loss at Sevilla.

The Italian's dismissal has sparked outrage among managers, ex-players and pundits, and Manchester United boss Mourinho - who succeeded Ranieri at Chelsea in 2004 - paid tribute to his counterpart famously known as the 'Tinkerman' on social media.

A photo posted by on

"CHAMPION OF ENGLAND and FIFA MANAGER of THE YEAR.sacked," Mourinho wrote on Instagram.

"That's the new football Claudio. Keep smiling AMICO. Nobody can delete the history you wrote."

Ranieri departs Leicester with the side 17th in the Premier League, just one point above the relegation zone as they prepare to host Liverpool on Monday.

Leicester, though, are in contention to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals with their last-16 tie in the balance.