Conte named Chelsea boss

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Ital­ian An­to­nio Conte (pic­tured) was handed the re­spon­si­bil­ity of re­viv­ing Chelsea’s for­tunes a n d bring­ing the Premier League ti­tle back to Stam­ford Bridge when he was named as their new head coach on Mon­day.

Conte, e, 46, the head coach of Italy, will moveve to Lon­don on a three-year con­tract af­ter the June 10 - July 10 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in France.

Conte e has long been touted as Chelsea’s first choice to suc­ceed Jose Mour­inho as their next per­ma­nent nent man­ager fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of the Por­tuguese tuguese in De­cem­ber af­ter Chelsea made their worst start to a top flight cam­paign for more thanhan 30 years.

Dutch­man hman Guus Hid­dink has been in charge since Dec. 19 but his sec­ond stint as in­terim coach was never go­ing to last longer than the end of this sea­son.

“I am m very ex­cited about the prospect of work­ing at Chelsea Foot­ball Club. I am proud to be the coach of the na­tional team of my coun­try and only a role as at­trac­tive as man­ager of Chelsea could fol­low that,” Conte said in a state­ment on Chelsea’s web­site (www.chelseafc.com).

“I am happy we have made the an­nounce­ment now so ev­ery­thing is clear and we can end the spec­u­la­tion. I will con­tinue to fo­cus on my job with the Ital­ian na­tional team and will re­serve speak­ing about Chelsea again un­til af­ter the Eu­ros.”

Chelsea’s for­tunes have sta­bilised un­der Hid­dink who took over with the 2014-2015 champions mired in 16th place hav­ing won only four of their open­ing 16 league matches.

Satur­day’s 4-0 win at As­ton Villa was their 15th un­beaten league match since Mour­inho left, but they are still only in 10th place in the ta­ble with no chance of re­tain­ing their ti­tle or win­ning a tro­phy this sea­son.

Their 13-year un­bro­ken run in the Champions League will also end, and it is very un­likely they will be in the Europa League next sea­son ei­ther.

Conte will be the fifth Ital­ian to man­age Chelsea, fol­low­ing pre­vi­ous in­cum­bents Gian­luca Vialli, Clau­dio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Mat­teo.

He played more than 400 games for Ju­ven­tus and went on to man­age the club to three suc­ces­sive Serie A ti­tles from 2012 to 2014.

— Reuters

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