Antonio Conte steps down as Juventus manager
Former Italy international won three successsive Serie A titles
Antonio Conte: now appears to be the man destined to fill Cesare Prandelli’s shoes in charge of the Italian national side. Photograph: Tolga Bozoglu/EPA
Antonio Conte has left his post as coach of Juventus after winning the Serie A title for three successive years. The 44-year-old announced his decision in a video interview on the club’s official website – just a day after the start of pre-season.
Juventus also confirmed Conte’s decision to step down – citing mutual consent – with chairman Andrea Agnelli delivering a passionate tribute.
“Dear Antonio, you have been a great leader and this news saddens me greatly,” he wrote on Juve’s official site. “Three years together have led us to write history with three consecutive titles and two Italian cups.
“You have given a group of highly talented professionals who will be at the disposal of the new coach to continue writing the future. You are in the history of the Bianconeri colours and whatever choice you make, a Juventus victory will always make you smile.
“Antonio, thank you for everything. Til the end.”
Speaking to www.juventus.com, Conte said time had caught up with him at the club and that the time was right to bid them farewell.
“I have decided to terminate my contract with Juventus,” he said. “I have matured with time and my feelings led me to make this choice. It may be more difficult to keep winning with Juventus.
“An enormous thank you for what you have given to me as a player and as a coach. I have always been close to you. I want to say that the journey taken in recent years has been historic.”
Conte, a former Italy international, joined Juve from Siena in 2011 and returned to Turin to a fanfare owing to his standing as one of the club’s greatest ever players. He made over 500 appearances in black and white and won five league titles.
That Midas touch continued as he won Serie A at the first attempt with his side going unbeaten throughout the league season.
A second title duly followed but the summer of 2013 saw him embroiled in a corruption row after he was charged with failing to report attempted match-fixing during his time with Siena. Conte pleaded innocence but was banned for 10 months — a sentence reduced to a four-month touchline suspension last August. He returned to the dugout midway through last season and duly led Juve to another title, the 32nd in their history.
Conte signed a new deal through to the summer of 2015 earlier this year but now appears to be the man destined to fill Cesare Prandelli’s shoes in charge of the Italian national side.
He leaves amid fevered speculation regarding the future of key players Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal.
Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and ex-AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri are already being linked with his position at Juventus.