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Great Italian tacticians influenced me, says Conte

29 December 2013 01:39

Juventus coach Antonio Conte said playing under great managers was the perfect apprenticeship for his own coaching career.

The Italian enjoyed a 13-year career with Juventus as a player and was appointed the club's coach in 2011.

Speaking at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai, Conte conceded he was never the best player in his era but he used his on-field shortcomings in his coaching.

"I was lucky enough and I had the pleasure to play under all the best managers in Italy, apart from Mr Fabio Capello of course," he said.

"This has definitely made things easier for me as a coach. Every manager has given me so much information which I can use.

"I did not have Zinedine Zidane or Roberto Baggio's talent as a player, and I have played with both, that even when they were circled they could try to break through or create interesting situations with the ball.

"When I was a player, my efforts and work-rate, my willingness to sacrifice fitness and humility made up for my lack of pure talent but sometimes, if I didn't find a teammate next to me, I might lose the ball.

"As a manager, my first thought from day one was that I wanted to find solutions for my players when the ball reached them, as I could not.

"If my players don't understand something, I force the player to ask me why we are doing such movement or working on certain tactics in training both offensively or defensively.

"I always want my players to be fully understanding of the problem. I want them to understand why we are doing certain things and why those things are useful."

Conte also hailed Pep Guardiola's influence, saying the Bayern Munich head coach has set the benchmark for football management.

"I am not that kind of person that wants to tell his players that they have to do things just because I am boss," he said.

"I want them to understand because, if they do so, I am sure that they will do it more willingly and learn more from it.

"In order to gain credibility and convey our football ideas, I believe that us managers need to persuade our players first.

"Under this point of view, I think that Pep Guardiola has set the example for many of us.

"He has been an important benchmark with the football his Barcelona sides have played in these years. Many of us have been fervent students of his methods."

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