New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is on the “same level” as Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, according to ex-Juventus full-back Gianluca Zambrotta, a player who spent five years as a team-mate of a veteran Conte in Turin.
“I think the three of them have similar personalities and are more or less at the same level,” Zambrotta told Sky Sports as he compared the three charismatic coaches many are expecting to take the Premier League by storm in their new jobs.
“Antonio Conte has a great football mind and he’s very dedicated. He’s very professional and is an excellent motivator,” the 2006 World Cup winner added.
But as far as playing style is concerned, 39-year-old Zambrotta, now a manager himself with Delhi Dynamos in India, is not so sure that Chelsea fans are guaranteed to see the same 3-5-2/3-4-4 formation Conte employed with such success at Euro 2016 with Italy.
“I have not had a chance to speak with him about how he will play but I am sure he will experiment a little bit and try something new,” Zambrotta explained.
Zambrotta is not the only individual from Conte’s past to have publicly praised the incoming Stamford Bridge boss in recent weeks.
Carlo Ancelotti, who managed Conte as a player at Juventus, recently described how his teams will follow him anywhere, while he knew it was obvious that the midfield general would go into coaching after retirement.
“He wants all his players to follow him, and he wants a good team spirit,” the new Bayern Munich coach said. “He is not afraid to tell the media what he thinks of their opinions either. In Conte’s philosophy, you are either with the team or you’re against them. There is no middle ground.”
Italian internationals Graziano Pelle and Emanuele Giaccherini have also spoken glowingly – both players owe their international careers to Conte.
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