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Italy coach Antonio Conte earns Chelsea contract for after Euro 2016

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | April 4, 2016

Chelsea have appointed outgoing Italy boss Antonio Conte on a three-year deal which begins at Stamford Bridge after Euro 2016.

Conte, who turns 47 at the end of July, is out of contract with the Azzurri following the tournament. The Italian FA (FIGC) will now appoint a new national coach.

The Blues are 4/1 chances with Coral to win the Premier League in 2016/17, which will be Conte’s debut campaign out of his homeland.

“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club,” said Conte in an official club statement announcing his appointment.

“I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.”

“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy. I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation.

“I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros!”

How will Mr Juve fare in London?

Becoming just the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea in the Premier League after Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo, Conte is synonymous with Juventus where he spent 13 years as a player (1991-2004), including five as captain, and a further three in the dugout (2011-14).

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His time as boss in Turin proved hugely successful, steering the Old Lady to three successive Serie A titles. Conte also coached Bari and Siena both to top-flight promotion prior to his return to Juve.

A runner-up with the Azzurri at both the 1994 World Cup and Euro 2000, plus a Champions League winner at club level in 1995/96, Conte enjoyed a stellar playing career with Juventus, scooping five Scudetti.

Speculation intensified that he would be appointed by Roman Abramovich once interim boss Guus Hiddink confirmed he wouldn’t be staying on at the Bridge.

Others linked with the Blues since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2015 included Massimiliano Allegri, Conte’s compatriot and successor as Juve boss; Jorge Sampaoli, the Copa America-winning coach of Chile who resigned in January; and Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone.

During his days in Turin, Conte developed a reputation for playing a 3-5-2 formation and challenging the prevailing tactical orthodoxy of 4-2-3-1. He is the 10th different full-time coach to serve Abramovich since he took control of Chelsea from Ken Bates in 2004.

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