“He would swim an hour a day to relieve his stress.”

Antonio Conte took the reins of Spurs after the departure of Nuno Espírito-Santo and, even with few training sessions, the Italian will be on the bench

Coach Antonio Conte makes his Tottenham debut this Thursday at 1:00 p.m. in Mexico City against Vitesse, in the fourth game of the UEFA Conference League group stage and is expected to continue his effusive and completely crazy style in the technical area, as with his previous teams, such as Juventus, Inter and Chelsea,

Anyone who has been around Conte reveals that in the locker room, the coach is even more explosive than he appears on the field, which creates some peculiar situations.

This is the case of Brazilian striker Rafael Bondi, with a long career in Italian football and who was under Conte’s command between 2006 and 2007, when they were both part of little Arezzo.

“It was his first coaching experience, after he retired as a Juventus player. Conte has always been a guy with unusual energy. He has such an urgency that it seemed like he was going to explode at any moment. It was crazy,” Bondi recalled. in an interview with ESPN.

The Brazilian says that, initially, The coach had some difficulties in managing the squad, due to his energetic style, however a period of study with coach Zdenek Zeman, one of the most famous names in the history of Italian football, transformed him.

“At first it was a bit difficult, mainly in the management of the group, but after a while it transformed. He spent some time away and went with Zeman, who is a very revered coach here. When he returned, he was someone else,” he recalled. .

“He came back much more offensive, with a 4-2-4 scheme. We had a 12-game winning streak in Serie B playing like this. Then he went to Bari and won Serie B in 2008/09 using that same 4-2. -4 “, he indicated.

But even though he had adopted a calmer style, Conte still had his moments of explosion.

“I remember well once we played a friendly against Fiorentina. They were in Serie A and we were in Serie B, so we were the weak team. We almost took the victory, but they tied at the end. Conte almost killed us in the locker room. (laughs) His winning mentality is unbelievable. “

“He would swim an hour a day, at least, to relieve his stress. Otherwise he would explode,” he said with a laugh.

Over the years, Conte has always sought influence from other top Italian soccer coaches., expanding their range of knowledge.

“Certain things don’t change. Personally, he was always very communicative. He talks the whole game, he always seeks to motivate the player, and that hasn’t changed until today. But, through a lot of study, he changed some concepts. I remember that he worked with Marcello Lippi , who does a lot of defensive training. Then he got a defender to be his assistant. These things helped him a lot in his evolution, “said Bondi.

The Brazilian still remembers the phrase that Conte used to say in the dressing room, and that is still present in the coach’s motivational speech.

“What makes the difference today is that mentality he had at Juventus. He played there all his life, and to succeed at Juve he has to be a ‘monster’ mentally, because the pressure is too much,” he commented.

“He always said: ‘Guys, winning is not important … Winning is the only thing that matters,'” he concluded.


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