A street
savvy kid
Antonio Conte was born and grew up in Lecce.
His parents Cosimino and Ada brought him and his brothers Gianluca and Daniele up with very strict rules. As was usual at that time, Antonio spent his free time playing in the street and was quick to learn who he should be friends with and who to avoid. Even if, at times, a fisticuffs was inevitable.
 
The street is our football pitch, but also our tennis court… It’s everything! Every now and again, just to do something different we draw a white chalk line on the tarmac, I pretend to be Borg, the other boy plays McEnroe, even if we hardly know how to hold our racquets.
from “Testa, cuore e gambe” (Head, heart and legs) – Biography of Antonio Conte


It was Juventina Lecce, the amateur team trained and led by his father, that gave Antonio his love of football. Only a few years later, together with Sandro Morello, he was bought by Lecce, for  8 footballs... and 200 thousand lire .
Study always came first though, as his father insisted.
At school, his teachers often held Antonio up as a good example for his classmates and despite being very close to the first team, he was one of the best students in his class..
 
Starting out with
Lecce

With Lecce Antonio Conte started with the Giovanissimi (under-15s), guided by Lillino Caus and Carlo Mugo, great connoisseurs of football and extraordinary instructors.

We were lucky enough to have true masters behind us, good at teaching football but also having the sort of human profile that meant they educated us, turned us from boys into men.

from “Testa, cuore e gambe” (Head, heart and legs) – Biography of Antonio Conte

After the Giovanissimi came the Primavera (under-20s) with coach Ciccio Cartisiano, a true helmsman for a group of hot-headed young men. At the age of sixteen and eight months he debuted in Serie A against Pisa. Thanks to the arrival of coach Carlo Mazzone, Conte quickly matured both mentally and physically.

After recovering from a serious injury, jeopardising his professional career due to a fractured tibia in his left leg, he returned to the pitch with great determination in the 1988-1989 season.

His first goal with Lecce and in Serie A was against Naples.
Conte wore the red and yellow jersey for 7 years, playing 89 matches and scoring 1 goal.
The dream comes true: arrival in
Juventus
It was Trapattoni who wanted him at Juventus.

He was bought by the Turin-based club in the summer of 1991 for 7 billion lire. His debut on the field came on 17 November during the derby with Torino, when he substituted Totò Schillaci.

During the two following seasons, he became a point of reference for Juve, scoring 7 goals during the Championship games and 3 in UEFA Cup matches.

Again managed by Trapattoni, in the 1992-93 season, the team won the UEFA Cup.

With the arrival of Marcello Lippi, Conte played in many different roles and this increased his technique and ability to adapt.

During the Champions League final against Ajax, he was injured in a clash with Davids and had to be substituted.
Juve won the Champions League.

After Ravanelli and Vialli left, in 1996, Conte became captain.


 

Under management by Ancelotti, Conte went back to his role of central midfielder, a key position for the new team tactics. He was to leave Juventus after wearing the bianconero jersey for 13 seasons, 418 matches and 43 goals.
Trophies won:

  • 5 Italian Championships
  • 1 Coppa Italia
  • 4 Supercoppe Italiane
  • 1 UEFA Cup
  • 1 UEFA Champions League
  • 1 Intercontinental Cup
  • 1 UEFA Super Cup
  • 1 UEFA Intertoto Cup
Playing for Italy
It was his mother that answered the phone call from Arrigo Sacchi, the Italian National Head Coach himself, summoning Antonio Conte for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA. His debut came a few months early, on 27 May 1994, for a friendly pre-cup match in Parma against Finland.
Italy came home vice champion of that particular World Cup in America, beaten by Brazil in the final.
Conte also played in the 2000 European Championships in Belgium and Netherlands, convened by Head Coach Dino Zoff.

During the first round-robin match against Turkey, he scored the Italians' first goal in the European tournament with a bicycle kick.

In the quarter final, Conte's European Championships ended when the ligaments in his right ankle are torn by a foul by the Rumanian Hagi. Italians got through to the final, won by France.

Conte returned to his national team 14 years later, on 4 September 2014, in the role of Head Coach.
 
Meeting Elisabetta
and the birth of Vittoria
When Antonio moved to Turin to play for Juventus, he met Elisabetta, the daughter of his neighbour Gianni. È la figlia di Gianni, il suo vicino di casa.
In September 2004, Elisabetta dropped in at the Bar in Corso Vinzaglio to say hi to her father and met Antonio, who was commenting on the latest football player acquisitions over a coffee.

A glance was all it took and the love story between Antonio and Elisabetta moved, in parallel with his new life as a Manager.
Vittoria was born in 2007 and on 10 June 2013, Antonio and Elisabetta were married.