Leicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri had vowed to treat the high-flying Premier League squad to pizzas if they kept a clean sheetLeicester City's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri had vowed to treat the high-flying Premier League squad to pizzas if they kept a clean sheet (AFP Photo/Mario Laporta)
London (AFP) - Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri is delivering on his promise to treat his players to pizzas after an early season incentive.
The Italian had vowed to treat the high-flying Premier League squad to pizzas if they kept a clean sheet.
And last weekend they finally managed the feat at the 12th time of asking when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.
True to his word, Ranieri is footing the bill at a city centre restaurant on Thursday.
"Yes, I pay," said the former Chelsea, Valencia, Juventus and Monaco boss.
"I pay. They deserve this pizza and today we will eat.
"It was a very tough match against Crystal Palace and this could help us make a very good spirit.
"It is good to get together to eat and talk about football," said Ranieri who has guided the team to the lofty perch of fifth in the Premier League and just three points behind leaders Manchester City.
"I have offered rewards before in the past at other clubs and it is a good opportunity to sit down together. It helps the team bonding.
"It is the team spirit and they enjoy training. They know they can work hard and then enjoy. I hope the players enjoy it."
Alcohol is off the menu, though, as Ranieri laughed: "Drink? Drink water, yes."
The Italian also took an amusing way to thank the club's supporters and compared them to pizza.
"What we are doing here is like a pizza," he said.
"To do well you have to have the right ingredients - players, team spirit, fans and you need a sprinkle of good luck.
"The fans are the tomato. Without tomato there is no pizza. The topping for all of us would be to get to 40 points."
Leicester return to league action on Saturday when they travel to West Brom following their League Cup exit in midweek at Championship side Hull.