Italy star Leonardo Bonucci has warned some of Chelsea’s biggest stars not to mess with new Blues manager Antonio Conte – revealing that the players in the Italian national team, which Conte managed until their Euro 2016 exit at the start of the month, called him ‘The Godfather.’
Bonucci also worked under Conte at Juventus, leaving him as well-placed as anybody to attest to the famously tough Italian’s coaching style. He went on to praise the incoming Chelsea boss, insisting that he will be a success at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking before Conte arrives to begin working with his new squad on Wednesday, Bonucci said, as quoted in the Mirror: “The players in the Italy team nicknamed him The Godfather. That means when he talks, you listen. You do what he says and you don’t argue. Players want to listen though.”
Italy’s team were given little chance in the buildup to the summer tournament, with some critics calling the side the “worst in 50 years”, but Conte dragged his side to the top of their group and to a quarter-final loss to Germany on penalties.
Italy beat the much-fancied Belgium and holders Spain on their way to the last eight, with Bonucci adding: “Nobody gave Italy much of a chance in France, and in the end we only got beaten on penalties by the world champions.
“Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team, and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe. He likes leaders, he likes big personalities, but he will not stand for players who think they are bigger than him.
“He is the boss, and if you listen to him and show him respect, you will see he is one of the best bosses in the game.”
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