Chelsea hire Antonio Conte as Blues' boss

Antonio Conte will be the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea and was formerly at Juventus

FILE: Antonio Conte. Picture: chelseafc.com

JOHANNESBURG - Antonio Conte, who is currently the manager of the Italy national side, has signed a three-year contract. He will begin work in London following his country's participation in the Euro 2016 tournament.

The 46-year-old said: "I am 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.

"I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League.

"Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.

"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."

Conte will be the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea, following on from Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo. In common with the first three of those names, he was formerly at Juventus, in his case as both a player and a manager.

Conte's three years in charge of the Juve between 2011 and 2014 yielded three straight Serie A titles - Juventus's first league championships in eight years and their first three-in-a-row since the early 1930s.

The Bianconeri also won two Italian Super Cups with him in charge. Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal were among his signings during a spell so productive he was named Serie A Coach of the Year in all three seasons there.

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck added: "Antonio Conte has a record of consistent success in his career as a manager and as a player. We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge and are confident he will find all he needs to maintain that high standard of achievement."

Under Conte's management, Italy qualified for this summer's European finals undefeated in their 10 games. They will play Belgium, Republic of Ireland and Sweden in the group stage in France.

Conte's coaching has been characterised by tactical flexibility and he achieved the remarkable feat of an unbeaten league season at Juventus, becoming only the third Serie A team to do so. Impressively, that was in his first season in charge and in 2013/14 the defending Italian champions recorded an all-time Serie A record of 102 points.

In the 2012/13 campaign, Conte's side played Chelsea in the Champions League group stage, drawing 2-2 at Stamford Bridge and winning 3-0 in Turin. They went on to the quarter-finals where they lost to eventual winners Bayern Munich.

In his three years as manager, Juventus lost only two home league games, contributing greatly to their new stadium being considered such a success.