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Written By Onyeka Daniel

In what was hardly a secret, former Serie A champions, Napoli have officially announced the appointment of Antonio Conte, who has signed a three-year contract with the club.

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With this announcement, it will make him the team’s fifth manager in little more than a year for the deposed Serie A champions (Luciano Spalletti, Rudi Garcia, Walter Mazzari and Francesco Calzona).

The Partenopei have announced that Conte signed a three-year contract, which Italian media reports say will earn the former Italy coach €6 million a year, plus bonuses.


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He will take charge of a Napoli team that endured a lacklustre season, finishing in 10th place as they sought to defend their title as champions of the 2022-23 season. “I can certainly promise one thing: I will do my utmost for the growth of the team and the club. My commitment, along with that of my staff, will be total,” Conte said in a statement.

Conte, a league title winner in England and five times in his native Italy, has been away from the dugout for more than a year. His last job was at Tottenham Hotspur, where he qualified for the Champions League in his debut season before leaving by mutual consent in March 2023 after 16 months as relations between himself and the club had deteriorated at all levels.

The 54-year-old has enjoyed an illustrious career as a manager. He won three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus at the start of the 2010s, a Premier League title and FA Cup with Chelsea and another Scudetto with Inter Milan in 2021.

Napoli lifted their first Serie A trophy in more than three decades – since the days of Diego Maradona – in 2023, after running away with the league under Spalletti. It should be recalled that Gian Piero Gasperini was the initial choice of Aurelio De Laurentiis, but he had to move for Conte after Gasperini decided to continue with Atalanta.

Meanwhile…

For the Italy coach, he feels the Azzurri must improve quality and intensity, but he remains optimistic because he knows his players well.Italy were held to a 0-0 draw by Vincenzo Montella’s Turkey in an international friendly at the Stadio Dall’Ara on Tuesday night. It wasn’t exactly an exciting game and Italy had only a few chances to score.

The best one was for Bryan Cristante who hit the woodwork with a header from a corner kick action right before the break. “I expected a game like this. We worked a lot physically so I expected a bit of tiredness,” Spalletti said at a press conference after the game.

“However, I expected more quality in the opponents’ half, without that, it all becomes more difficult. We let them keep the ball too many times and we were stretched too many times. If you keep the ball more, you make shorter runs and it’s all easier. It emerged that we were not fully fit also because we didn’t manage the ball too well.” Italy will make their Euro 2024 debut on June 15 against Albania.

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Is Spalletti worried about the latest Azzurri performance? “It’s not a game that makes me optimistic or pessimistic,” he replied. “What makes me optimistic is the fact that I know my players well. Clearly, we have to do more than what we did tonight. This match is useful for further growth. We tried to make certain things. We lost the ball too easily, and these things have an impact. We must improve in quality and intensity even if the intensity is a consequence of the game.”

Riccardo Orsolini received a warm welcome from his Bologna fans, but he and the other wingers and strikers were unimpressive at the Dall’Ara. “We can do more in the final third and on the wings. One-on-one situations can make a difference,” admitted Spalletti. “We can even decide to leave the ball to opponents, but when we have it, we must manage it better. Orsolini was committed, but he can surely do more.” Italy will play another friendly at Coverciano today, and Spalletti will name the final 26-man squad for the Euros tomorrow.

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