Giampiero Ventura replaced Antonio Conte as the manager of Serie A side Bari in 2009. Marking a trend of following in his footsteps, Giampiero Ventura succeeded Conte for the national team’s coaching job, soon after the role was left vacant after Italy’s quarter-final run at the Euro 2016.
Antonio Conte, meanwhile, is now the boss of Premier League side Chelsea, replacing Jose Mourinho, who was sacked after the club had a disastrous season. Appointed to revive their fortunes, Ventura believes Conte is the right man for the job due to his achievements.
Antonio Conte helped Bari earn promotion from Serie B, and was managed by Ventura in the Serie A .
"I managed Bari after he won the Serie B title there and everybody was in love with him there," Ventura told reporters.
"Conte is a good luck charm for me because my time in Bari was great and we did important things. I came to the national team after an amazing Euros for Conte's Italy. We will see if I will be able to replicate these achievements.
Ahead of the international break, Ventura said he spoke to Conte and the two shared warm greetings. Italy face France in a friendly and also kick-start their World Cup qualifying process.
Ventura continued to joke and hailed Antonio Conte’s efforts in perfecting his English, while he is working on it since he might have to manage Chelsea one day if his ‘lucky charm’ persists.
"I think that I will manage Chelsea when he leaves the Blues' bench and that's why I'm already trying to improve my English. I got in touch with Conte three minutes ago. I asked him, 'how are you', and he said, 'fine'. His English is perfect now. He wished me good luck. He was very kind. I also got in touch with him before he signed for Chelsea." added Ventura.
Giampiero Ventura will begin his career as Italy coach on a debut against France in an international friendly on Thursday. Four days later, he will face a crucial test as Italy face Israel in a World Cup qualifier and it seems Ventura will have to adapt quickly. However, it is learned that Ventura will find a team to his liking as he adopts an establishment handed over by Conte.Published 30 Aug 2016, 13:48 IST