Newly-appointed Antonio Conte has set his sights on creating a Juventus-like dynasty at Stamford Bridge after being announced as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor as manager of Chelsea yesterday.
The 46-year-old has signed a three-year contract and will start work in west London after this summer’s European Championship in France, which will be his last act in charge of Italy. Guus Hiddink will remain in temporary command until the end of the season.
Conte, who was installed as Juventus boss in 2011, won three successive Serie A titles with The Old Lady after they had finished seventh in the two campaigns prior to his arrival.
The foundations for success which Conte laid at Juventus, who went unbeaten for 48 matches between May 2011 and October 2012 under him, have continued. The Bianconeri were crowned champions last season and currently enjoy a six-point lead at the Serie A summit.
“Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy,” said Conte.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea. I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.
“I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.”
While Conte guided Italy to Euro 2016 undefeated from a qualifying group containing Croatia, Norway, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Malta, the Azzurri are winless in their four internationals since, the last a 4-1 defeat to Germany in Munich.
Despite Italy’s pre-tournament wobbles, Chelsea’s board are in no doubt that they have appointed a manager capable of replicating former glories after a season of struggle which will end without silverware and also saw the demise of Mourinho.
“We are very pleased to have recruited one of the most highly regarded managers in world football and we are equally pleased to do so before the end of the current season. This aids our future planning,” said director Marina Granovskaia.
Chairman Bruce Buck added: “Antonio Conte has a record of consistent success in his career as a manager and as a player. We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge and are confident he will find all he needs to maintain that high standard of achievement.”