Monday 02 October 2017, 06:58

Conte’s key qualities: In his players’ words

  • Antonio Conte one of three finalists for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award

  • The Italian won the title with Chelsea in his first season in England

  • Players from his Chelsea, Juventus & Italy sides identify his biggest strengths

Antonio Conte’s place among the finalists for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach award reflects his status in the game. The Chelsea boss is admired by pundits and peers alike, with no less a figure than Pep Guardiola having described him as “maybe the best coach in the world”.

The Italian’s title winning achievements with Juventus and Chelsea, and his impressive handling of Italy’s national team, have yielded a host of similar tributes. But the men who know Conte’s coaching qualities best are his players and, in attempting to find the secrets behind his awesome success, looked at what they have had to say.

Motivational Skills “When Conte speaks, his words assault you. They crash through the doors of your mind, often quite violently, and settle deep within you. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve found myself saying: ‘Hell, Conte said something really spot-on again today.’” Andrea Pirlo

"He gives every player who works for him total confidence. Every player in the squad wants to give 100 per cent for him every time, in training or on the pitch - he's that sort of manager.” Matteo Darmian

"He gives everyone the opportunity to express themselves. I felt that from the start, right from the first day of training. He was talking to all the players. There was no favouritism. Each and every one of us totally respects him. We love him as our manager. He’s given us all massive confidence.” Victor Moses

Work Ethic “When I decided to come back I knew I would work with a fantastic coach. He likes to work, that is his secret. He loves to work, he works with passion every day. He definitely improved me. And not just me - everybody." David Luiz

"Much has been spoken about how passionate and fiery Conte can be, which is true, but the reality is he gets so much from his players because he gives so much. He will never switch off from the game. He gives everything.” Gianluigi Buffon

“I’ve played under other good managers but Conte is one of the best. He’s a special kind of coach. He takes a lot of care about every single detail. He spends hours making and watching videos of opponents. He prepares matches better than anyone else and you can see that on the pitch because everyone knows exactly what they have to do and where their team-mates are.” Daniele de Rossi

Tactical Acumen “He is the coach who worked the most tactically , more than with Mourinho and Guardiola. Conte is meticulous. Until everything is done, training is not finished. Conte is something else.” Cesc Fabregas “Conte is a strong manager in every way. He works so hard on everything during the week and wants every player to know exactly what he wants to do in every aspect of their game – defence, midfield and attack. He is so focused. I’d say he is a unique manager in that respect, there is no one like him. He is very capable of getting everyone to adapt to his ideas about football.” Emanuele Giaccherini