Chelsea's Antonio Conte on par with Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, says Gianluca Zambrotta
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 12/07/16 5:19pm
Antonio Conte’s managerial ability is on par with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, according to the Italian’s former team-mate Gianluca Zambrotta.
Ex-Italy manager Conte, a three-time Serie A winner with Juventus, officially began work as Chelsea boss on Monday following the conclusion of the European Championship.
Zambrotta and Conte played together for five seasons at Juventus before the latter retired from football in 2004, starting his coaching career less than a year later as Siena's assistant manager.
Mourinho has won league titles in three different countries, while Guardiola claimed seven trophies in three seasons at Bayern Munich prior to joining City.
But Zambrotta is in no doubt his former Bianconeri team-mate Conte belongs in the same company as the managers of the two Manchester clubs.
"I think the three of them have similar personalities and are more or less at the same level," Zambrotta told Sky Sports.
"Antonio Conte has a great football mind and he's very dedicated. He's very professional and is an excellent motivator."
Conte's greatest successes as a manager have come by playing 3-5-2 or 3-4-3, but Zambrotta is unsure whether his compatriot will play with three centre-backs at Chelsea.
"I'm not sure if he will line up with three centre-backs," he said.
"I have not had a chance to speak with him about how he will play but I am sure he will experiment a little bit and try something new."
Conte is not the only one starting a new coaching job - Zambrotta last week succeeded Roberto Carlos' as manager of Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos.
"I'm very pleased to be here at Delhi and I am very enthusiastic about starting this new adventure," said Zambrotta, who had a year-long stint as manager of Swiss side Chiasso, ending in 2015.
"My experiences throughout my career as a football player and as a coach in Switzerland will help definitely me here but there are always difficulties and challenges.
"I had many challenges in Chiasso and there will also be challenges here but what is most important is to face those challenges and surpass those challenges."