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Ranieri quits Roma

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 21- Claudio Ranieri has resigned as Roma coach following Sunday's disastrous 4-3 defeat at Genoa, despite having led 3-0.It was the club’s fourth defeat in a row and Ranieri then told Italian news agency Ansa he had decided to quit.

"After the final whistle of a vibrant game I went into the changing rooms to thank the team for their performance and I decided to hand in my resignation," he said.

"I’ve always thought about the good of Roma, both the club and the team.

"Today we began with the desire to fight for the victory for all those who love this shirt and this city.

"Every minute of my day is dedicated to Roma and I’ve always said that for me a defeat is especially painful.

"But seeing my lads fighting to the end and losing shook me to the core.

"I want to thank all the fans and the president (Rosella) Sensi. Together, despite the difficulties, we did a great job last year and this year.

"I am and always will be a man of the pitch and after a game such as today’s I believe it’s right to give a signal for the love of these colours and I hope that my decision will help spur on the team.

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"Sport and football have values that for me and for those work hard and with passion are life itself."

Roma have lost three league games in a row leaving them eighth in the table and nine points off the last Champions League qualification position, which, just to make matters worse, is currently being held by their bitter city rivals Lazio.

They also crashed 3-2 at home to Shakhtar Dontesk in the Champions League in midweek meaning they need a stunning result in the away leg in Ukraine in three weeks time to progress to the quarter finals.

After that match fans staged a violent protest outside the club’s Trigoria training complex the following day, with four Ultras being arrested.

They seemed to have turned things around in Genoa when Francesco Totti gave them a 3-0 lead after 51 minutes, following first half strikes from centre-backs Philippe Mexes and Nicolas Burdisso.

But within a minute their defence had started to crumble and they continued to collapse as both Rodrigo Palacios and Alberto Paloschi grabbed a brace.

After Ranieri’s announcement, Sensi said the club would make a decision on the coaching situation on Monday.

"We will act on what he’s said," she said, apparently perplexed by the news.

"We won’t do anything tonight, we will decide something following a meeting tomorrow morning at which I, the directors and players will be present."

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That didn’t calm fans, though, 50 of whom waited for the team’s return to Trigoria and pelted the team bus with eggs and bottles while shouting: "mercenaries".

Ranieri, a Roman who supported Roma as a child and began his playing career with the club, spent less than two years in the job having taken over two games into the start of last season.

Despite a difficult start to life as Roma boss he took the side on a 23-match unbeaten run to overhaul a 14-point deficit to Inter last season.

With four games to go in the season they led the table by one point but a 2-1 home defeat to Sampdoria handed back the initiative to Jose Mourinho’s side, which they never relinquished again.

Roma struggled again at the beginning of this season but seemed to have battled back into title contention until the last three matches.

They had also struggled to qualify in their Champions League group in part due to a 3-1 home defeat to minnows FC Basel, and they needed a 1-1 draw at CFR Cluj on the final matchday to ensure their progress to the knock-out stages.

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