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Napoli Makes Antonio Conte Its Fifth Manager in Just Over a Year

MILAN (AP) — Antonio Conte was confirmed as the new Napoli coach on Wednesday, making him the team’s fifth manager in little more than a year for the deposed Serie A champion.

Napoli announced Conte signed a three-year contract, which Italian media reported will earn the former Italy coach six million euros ($6.5 million) a season plus bonuses.

“Napoli is a club of huge importance on the international stage,” Conte said in a statement. “I’m happy and excited by the idea of taking my seat in the Napoli dugout.

“I can certainly promise one thing: I’ll give my all to develop the team and the club. I’m fully committed to the task at hand, as are my staff.”

Conte, a league title winner in England and four times in his native Italy, has been away from the dugout for more than a year after leaving Tottenham by mutual consent in March 2023.

His departure came shortly after a post-match rant against his players and club ownership. It was not the first time Conte made public outbursts against his bosses, having done so several times at previous clubs and earning himself a reputation for being fiery.

Napoli lifted its first Serie A trophy in more than three decades — since the days of Diego Maradona — in 2023, after running away with the league under Luciano Spalletti.

However, Spalletti departed after saying he needed a year off, only to become Italy coach after Roberto Mancini’s shock resignation. Napoli went on to be one of the worst defending champions in the league’s history.

Rudi Garcia, Walter Mazzarri and Francesco Calzona all had stints as coaches but Napoli went from bad to worse and finished the season in 10th place to miss out on all European competitions.

“I’m so proud that Antonio Conte is Napoli’s new coach,” club president Aurelio De Laurentiis said. “Antonio is a top coach and a leader, so I’m convinced that we’ll be able to rebuild the foundations in the way that we need to following the conclusion of the cycle that led us to Scudetto glory last year after many years at the top of Italian soccer.

“An important, new chapter in Napoli’s history gets underway today.”

De Laurentiis also posted a photo on X of him and Conte signing the contract, which runs until June 30, 2027. He captioned it “Benvenuto Antonio!” (“Welcome Antonio!”).

Napoli also published photos on Instagram of Conte superimposed on famous views of the Italian city.

Conte’s last job in Italy was with Inter Milan, which he left in 2021, shortly after steering the team to its first Serie A title in 11 years in his second season in charge.

At Napoli, the 54-year-old Conte will be aiming to lead a third team to the Serie A title after also winning the league in each of his three seasons in charge of Juventus.

Conte resigned as Juventus coach in 2014 and went on to take charge of Italy, leading the Azzurri unexpectedly to the quarterfinals of the 2016 European Championship, where they lost to Germany in a penalty shootout.

Conte had already announced months before the tournament that he missed club soccer and would leave Italy and join Chelsea as coach. He won the Premier League in his first season in charge but was fired a year later.


By DANIELLA MATAR AP Sports Writer

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