Former Juventus coach, Antonio Conte, has been appointed as the new coach for the Italian national team, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed today. Since the unexpected resignation of former Italian coach, Cesare Prandelli, in the wake of their dismal World Cup 2014 group stage elimination, the position had remained vacant.
The 45 year-old tactician has subsequently signed a two-year contract worth £2.8million per annum to fill in that void.
Conte – who is coming off the back of three supremely successful seasons with Italian outfit, Juventus – was appointed as the coach of Italy, pipping the likes of Francesco Guidolin, Alberto Zaccheroni and Roberto Mancini; all of whom had been heavily linked with the vacancy.
Conte led the Turin side to three back-to-back Serie A titles, before suddenly calling time on his affiliations with the club. Speaking in the aftermath of his resignation in Turin, Conte said “I have decided to terminate my contract with Juventus,” to the club’s official website. “I have matured with time and my feelings led me to make this choice. It may be more difficult to keep winning with Juventus.”
Despite his appointment, there had been rumors that the former Old Lady manager would not assume the position. While Conte was believed to have been content with the financial package on offer, one of his demands included taking hands-on technical control of the national team set-up; that included of the youth sides.
However, uncertainty gave way to optimism after Carlo Tavecchio, the FIGC President was yesterday quoted to have told La Repubblica “I got up at 7am and immediately set to work,”
“I spoke to Conte and three or four more… I have no answers just yet, otherwise I would say so, but Conte seemed a decent person.”
Tavecchio was further quoted to have mention “I am optimistic for the federation and for Italy, so we’ll see. Would Conte be a nice gift for Italians? I have to say yes.”
Soon after, an official statement from the FIGC was released, reading: “President (Carlo) Tavecchio and Antonio Conte spoke directly by phone to define the final aspects of the collaboration that will bind Antonio Conte to the FIGC until July 31, 2016.”
“The new coach shared in the president Tavecchio’s vision to revitalise the national team and the project of training of new Azzurri players, and has a strong commitment towards the technical sector as coordinator of the youth teams.”
The federation’s statement further read: “The contract between the FIGC and Antonio Conte provides compensation in line with the cost of the previous management, with a bonus for qualifying for Euro 2016, an added bonus in case of improvement of at least five places in the FIFA rankings, and a third bonus in case of participation at the Euro 2016 finals.”