Football - Conte wants European glory for dominant Juventus

Since Antonio Conte took charge of Juventus in mid-2011, the club have experienced a remarkable rebirth, winning two Serie titles in as many seasons after years in the doldrums and re-establishing themselves as the pre-eminent force in Italian football.

Reuters
Football - Conte wants European glory for dominant Juventus
.

View photo

Serie A 2013, Antonio Conte (Juventus)

Juventus wrapped up their 29th championship on Sunday after a season which rarely looked anything other than a procession, with Napoli and Inter Milan taking turns to trail in their wake.

Now Conte wants to add European success to their domestic dominance and has made clear that he wants to see financial investment by the Turin club.

"If you have money, you buy players and you win," Conte said after Juve were eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich last month.

"There are superpowers like Real, Bayern, Barcelona and PSG who have a turnover of 400 million euro. I think we need to change Italian football and when I say we I mean us, the other clubs, media, fans and institutions.

"Abroad they invest money in projects, here we talk about referees and what cars the players are driving."

According to a report in the Gazzetta Dello Sport, Conte wants an extension to his contract, which expires in 2015, and an increase in his reported salary of three million euros to five million.

He also wants the capability to buy the world's best players and even on the eve of sealing this season's title he dropped hints that he would consider leaving if they did not help him to achieve his ambitions.

"Conte the man definitely wants to stay at Juventus," he said in Saturday's pre-match conference. "However there is also Antonio Conte the professional, who needs to sit down with the club... I've left big jobs before when I didn't believe in the club's plans."

SIEGE MENTALITY

Conte, who played for Juve for 13 years and was captain for eight of them, winning five Serie A titles, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League, embodies a Juventus mentality that inspires devotion in the "Old Lady's" nationwide army of fans and loathing in almost everyone else.

His combative, often surly attitude has helped to reinforce a siege mentality created after they had two league titles taken from them as a result of the 2006 Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.

While Juventus are far from being the league's most flamboyant side, their levels of organisation and teamwork perfectly reflect Conte's own playing days.

However, his manner has also landed him in trouble with the football authorities and he received a two-match touchline ban in January for haranguing referee Marco Guida after he failed to award them a penalty for handball in stoppage time of their 1-1 draw with Genoa.

That came soon after he completed a four-month ban for failing to report a match-fixing attempt when he was coach of Siena, which dominated headlines during the first half of the season.

After the first appeal against his initial 10-month ban was rejected last August, Conte held a news conference in which he ranted about the Italian Football Federation, calling it a "disgrace".

On both occasions the club backed Conte, with president Andrea Agnelli saying the appeal ruling confirmed the club's "worst suspicions" about Italy's football justice system which "seems more and more like a witch-hunt".

View Comments (1)
Fantasy Premier League