Conte first signed for eight footballs

7 Aug

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte led Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 before taking over at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has revealed that his first transfer fee was eight footballs and £100.

The former Juventus and Italy boss has been tasked with reviving Chelsea, who won the Premier League in 2014-15 but finished 10th last season.

Conte, 47, was signed by local club Lecce as a 13-year-old.

“Lecce bought me and one of my team-mates, Sandro Morello, for eight footballs and three of them were flat,” Conte told the Mail on Sunday.

“My first team was called Juventina. My father was the owner, the coach, the kit man and everything else.

“He was my first master. In that period, my father was very tough – and especially with me.”

Conte also revealed that he is close with former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who won the Premier League and FA Cup with the club in 2010.

“Carlo told me about the club. We spoke about people who work there,” said Conte, who was managed by Ancelotti at Juventus.

Conte added that club captain John Terry will continue to be a crucial part of his plans, despite the defender considering leaving the club last season.

“In every team there are some players with great experience, and this experience counts, if you play but also if you don’t play,” said Conte.

“John is a god example during the training sessions. He has the right attitude and the right behaviour.”

Chelsea open their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham on Monday, 15 August.

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