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Famous Puglians - Antonio Conte
Photo: goal.com

Famous Puglians - Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte (born in Lecce on 31st July 1969) is an Italian professional football manager, generally known as one of the best coaches in the world. A former professional footballer, he is currently the head coach of north London side Tottenham Hotspur.

His father, Cosimino Conte, was a football coach, whilst his mother, Mother Ada Briamo, was a full-time housewife. Along with his brothers Gianluca and Daniele, he was brought up in a very strict household. He grew up playing football and tennis on the streets of Lecce.

Conte first played for the youth team of his hometown football club. He made his professional debut aged in 1986 aged 16, becoming an integral part of the first team. One year later, he fractured his tibia, a serious injury almost ending his career.

Four years later, after 99 appearances, he moved to Juventus. He quickly became a key player for the La Vecchia Signora, becoming the team club’s captain in 1996, a position he maintained for six years.

During his time at Juventus, he also received a call-up to the Italian national side. He was to play twenty times for his country, scoring two goals. He received runners-up medals in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000 tournaments.

He was originally a crucial part of the 90’s Italian national team, scoring some fantastic goals. However, injuries restricted him to 296 appearances over thirteen years.

He was a tenacious and hard-working midfielder. What he lacked in technical skills he more than made up for in his energetic, hard-working style of play. He was a very good leader with a fantastic ability to read the game. These skills had him earmarked as a manager early in his playing career.

After retiring from playing in 2004, Conte became the assistant manager of Second Division (Serie B) side Siena. He then moved to Arezzo in his first managerial role. Despite being sacked after four months due to poor results, the following year he was re-appointed with the team in trouble.

Unfortunately, Conte was unable to save them from relegation. Later in the year, he became manager of Bari where he achieved his first success. Not only did he save them from relegation, the following year he led them to the league title.

His next role was at Atalanta, whose struggling form ended with Conte’s resignation. In 2011, he finally achieved his dream of becoming Juventus manager. He would stay there for three years before his next role as manager of the Italian national team.

He left to work for English Premier League side Chelsea, for whom he won the league title. He then won the league title with Inter Milan before joining his current team Tottenham Hotspur.

As a manager, Conte has won many major honours. He has won league titles with AS Bari, Juventus (three times), Inter Milan and Chelsea. He has also three domestic cups, including the Italian Super Cup (twice with Juventus) and the English FA Cup (with Chelsea).

Conte is married to Elisabetta, whom he met as the daughter of his neighbour and friend Gianni. They have a daughter Vittoria, born in 2007.