Costacurta: Conte is the 'best coach in the world'

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After guiding them to a quarter-final showdown at Euro 2016, the Azzurri boss has been praised for transforming the nation's fortunes before heading to Stamford Bridge this summer

AC Milan and Italy legend Alessandro Costacurta has praised Antonio Conte, who is Chelsea-bound after Euro 2016, labelling him the "best coach in the world".

Conte has guided the Azzurri to the quarter-finals of this summer's tournament, convincingly beating both Belgium and Spain along the way, teeing up a showdown with Joachim Low's World Cup winners, Germany.

Although Italy were unfavoured for success before the tournament started, Costacurta believes progress has been made and they have their manager to thank.

“The most important thing is the coach,” he told BBC Sport. “The coach is, for me, the best coach in the world and I think it’s showing in Euro 2016.

“Entering the Euros, the team was not so united, not so organised. After two or three training sessions I think the team improved.


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“It’s about Conte, because the players are not so good, are not world class players, so the coach he is. For me Conte is the best in the world.”

Italy have only conceded once in the tournament so far, in a 1-0 defeat to Republic of Ireland when already qualified for the last 16.

The 50-year-old is pleased to see his country defending well, but is more impressed with the attacking ability Conte's team have shown so far, which is something Chelsea's incoming boss has brought to the national team, according to Costacurta.

“Italian coaches are always speaking about tactics, it’s our quality in Italy. We know the defensive way, but Conte brings something new about the offensive way.

“Against Belgium, against Spain we were good in transition with [speed], with players always going in the box. It’s something new for Italian people, for Italian football.”

 


 

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