Tuesday August 19 2014
Conte: I like challenges!

Antonio Conte admits he didn’t expect to be back in management so soon after Juventus, but says Italy couldn’t be turned down: “I like challenges.”

Today the 45-year-old officially signed a two-year deal to become the new Commissario Tecnico, replacing Cesare Prandelli following his summer resignation in the wake of Italy’s disastrous World Cup campaign.

The move comes just over a month after he left his position with Juventus.

“I am excited and I cannot deny it, because in my place would sit any Coach in the world,” Conte considered to reporters today.

“This is the most important national team together with that of Brazil, with four stars on its badge. I am proud of the fact that the President has considered me.

“I take this opportunity to also salute Cesare Prandelli who as CT for four years did a great job. I extend to him my luck for his adventure with Galatasaray. I also thank Arrigo Sacchi for his work with our youth teams. The doors are always open for him.

“I never expected to return to coaching after 35 days. I wanted to take break around Europe, update myself and improve my studies of different languages, and wait for a top European club.

“Then came a phone call from Italy, which is a top, top club, and after taking the necessary reflection, I understood the enthusiasm of Tavecchio and by the second phone call he knew that he had made inroads into my heart.

“You know that I like challenges. I repeat - I have the privilege of being in this position in which everyone would like to be.”

The first challenge is to lift Italy following their World Cup campaign in Brazil.

“The players come from an experience that was not positive, but we have good players who can become a team. In this way, the technical gap to the others can be bridged.

“I like tough challenges, such as when I arrived in Serie A with Juve. And today I arrive in a situation that is not simple, we need to pick ourselves up.”