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Antonio Conte - The real Special One

719   //    28 Dec 2012, 18:41 IST

Juventus FC v Cagliari Calcio - TIM Cup

I didn’t think much of Antonio Conte when he was appointed the manager of Juventus. All I’d known and remembered was that he was a part of that glorious Juventus squad that with much ease, stepped over the Inter that I supported before the Calciopoli blew up.

He took Juventus through the whole of the season of 2011-2012 unbeaten. Their only loss in Italian competitions was that loss to Napoli in the final of Copa Italia. The question to ask then is, was that a great achievement? We have seen a general wane in the Italian league which is still recovering from the match fixing and struggling with chronic crowd trouble. Clubs in Italy have all diminished in their soft power and are missing big name signings. They have all retracted, in a way. Europe is going to be difficult for both the Milanese clubs. But Juventus seems to have been cut from a different cloth.

And the primary reason for that is Antonio Conte himself. Not only has he brought some great attacking football back, he seems to be a man dead serious in his mission with a passion that exudes from every molecule of his being. Like fine Italian engineering, he seems to exhibit all of the expressive body expressions, a pulsating centre to the flow of energy that seems to conclude the Juve rhythm. Even when he was absent from the touchline ban that he got for an alleged match fixing incident, everybody knew who was running the show. Their Champions League was by no way easy, consisting of the Champions Chelsea and a very impressive Shakhtar Donetsk, but they made it through and I feel, are a genuine threat to go all the way. If we look at a simple statistic of Juventus’ performance under him, we see that they have just lost three games while under his tutelage.

There are suggestions of his likeness to the Special One. He is known to have a great addiction to the minute details and tactics. But above all, the main reason I think he has a great managerial career ahead of him is because of his motivational and man management skills. I came across the ‘Spit blood’ video delivered when Juve where leading the league last season and asking his players to stay focused, not to get detracted. Watch the video, it will give Russell Crowe’s Gladiator a run for the money and then let you make your mind up if it’s the birth of a new Special One.

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