Antonio Conte is widely known in the world of soccer. He is a soccer manager and coach known for his time at Italian side, Juventus FC and London based club, Chelsea FC who he both lead to championship titles. As a player, he is remembered for his time with the Old Lady (a moniker for Juventus FC) and also the Italian national team where he was the midfield stability in both teams. We will get more on that as we go on.
Born to his parents, Cosimino Conte and Ada Briamo on the 31st of July 1969 in Southern Italy (Lecce, to be precise), Conte came into the family as the first born child of his parents. His brothers are Gianluca, a football coach as well and Daniele, a football agent. His father, Cosimino, was a soccer coach while his mother, Ada, is a homemaker. So it was from home that Conte’s journey to the world of soccer began.
He fell in love with the round leather game early enough and would always play with friends on the streets, but his father made sure it never affected his studies. Cosimino would insist on academics first and only allowed him to play when he was sure that young Conte was done with his academic work.
That discipline at home was reflected in school and he was held up as an example to his schoolmates most times. He was a balanced student because despite the attention he gave to soccer at school, his grades were never affected.
Antonio Conte started playing organized soccer with Juventina Lecce, an amateur soccer side that was coached by his father. That gave him the required experience to launch his playing career with his hometown team, Unione Sportiva Lecce who was at that time playing in the upper division of the Italian league, Serie A.
He made his debut for the team at the young age of 16 against Pisa. Conte would go on to become an integral player for the club side and amassed 99 caps, scoring one goal in his seven years stay at the club.
He left Lecce in 1991 and signed for Juventus in a transfer that was worth £3 million and made his debut in November that same year against Torino. He would go on to earn 418 caps in 13 years (1991-2004) with the Old Lady, score 43 goals and adorn the captains’ band from 1996 till he hung his boots in 2004.
He also won five Serie A championships and a UEFA double (the UEFA Cup in 1993 and the UEFA Champions League trophy in 1996). His other trophies with Juventus include the Coppa Italia (1995), UEFA Super Cup (1996), four Supercoppa Italiana titles and UEFA Intertoto Cup (1999). He never played for another club after leaving Juventus.
Conte made his debut for the Italian national team in a friendly match on home soil against Finland. His first major tournament with the team was the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States of America. The Italian team got to the final but lost to the superior firepower of the Brazillian side.
Next up was the Euro 2000 and again his team got to the finals but lost out to France and so Antonio Conte retired from the national team after a career (on the national team front) that was plagued with injuries. His time with the Italian national team saw him make 20 appearances (1994-2000) and score two goals – including his overhead kick against Turkey in the opening match of the Euro 2000 dubbed the “Best Goal of the European Tournament”.
Antonio Conte’s Coaching Career
Conte went into coaching upon retirement from club soccer in 2004. His first assignment was as an assistant to Luigi De Canio who was the manager of Siena. He would later become head coach of Arezzo, a Serie B side, but was dismissed a few months later due to a run of poor results.
With his replacement not doing any better, he got the job back and was faced with a relegation battle. He led the team to six victories and a draw to give them 19 points as the came so close to avoiding the drop. However, Arezzo would still be relegated with just one point on the last day of the season.
He was hired by another Serie B side, Bari for the second half of the 2007–08 campaign with the team languishing in the relegation zone. Conte oversaw a mid-table finish that season and by the next season, Bari did not only secure promotion to the Serie A, they were also Serie B champions.
He joined Atlanta in 2009 but could not replicate his Bari miracle and after aggressive confrontations by fans, he was left with no choice but to resign as a club coach with the team struggling to avoid the drop.
He was signed by Siena for the 2010-11 campaign which the club was prosecuting in the Serie B following their relegation the previous season. Antonio Conte would eventually lead them out of relegation as the gained promotion at the first attempt.
After much skepticism about Conte, Juventus finally decided to give their former player and fan’s hero a chance at his dream job. Contrary to expectations, Antonio Conte didn’t need time to settle in. He silenced his detractors and excelled in the role matching several records held by the clubs greatest coaches and even set his own records at the same time.
He led them to their first Coppa Italia final in 8 years. He also won the league that season conceding just 20 goals on the back of an unbeaten season which was an unprecedented feat (since Serie A expanded to a 20-team league format which played 38 rounds).
Juventus won the league for the three seasons Conte was in charge, but the limb campaign in Europe (UCL) meant that he would resign as manager in 2014 after winning his third title as manager of his former club.
After his trophy-laden spell with the Old Lady, he had a two-year stint as coach of the national team before signing for the London-based club, Chelsea in 2016. He began on a very bright note like he did at Juventus and when it was announced on January 13, 2017, that Antonio Conte had won the Manager of the Month gong for December 2016, he became only the first Premier League manager to win the accolade three consecutive times (October, November, and December). He won the Premier League title with Chelsea in his first season with a record 30 wins in 38 league games.
The next season, however, following a poor campaign, Antonio Conte was sacked as coach of Chelsea despite winning the English FA Cup over Jose Mourinho‘s Manchester United.
Family Life – Wife
Antonio Conte is married to Elisabetta Muscarello. He met the Italian beauty while playing for Juventus but their relationship did not start until 2004 when they met in a bar and kicked things off. Their daughter, Vittoria came in 2007 and they headed to the altar in June 2013 after being together for nine years.
Height, Weight, Body Measurements
The Godfather, as Conte is referred to. has an athletic build as is expected of someone who played soccer for a lengthy time. He is not a 6 footer but Conte has an amply average height of 1.78 meters (5 feet 10 inches) and he weighs 76 kg which is 167.5 pounds.