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Football: Antonio Conte named as new Italy coach

Former Juventus boss Antonio Conte was named the new coach of Italy on Thursday (Aug 14) on a two-year contract, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced.

ROME: Former Juventus boss Antonio Conte was named the new coach of Italy on Thursday (Aug 14) on a two-year contract, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced.

The 45-year-old was widely expected to take over from Cesare Prandelli, who stepped down after Italy's first-round exit at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio said Conte, who will earn €2 million (S$3.33 million, US$2.7 million) a year, will be presented at a press conference on Tuesday in Rome. Conte's first match in charge will be on September 4 when Italy face the Netherlands in a friendly.

Five days later, Italy begin their Euro 2016 qualifying Group H campaign in Norway and the pressure will be on for a team whose failure in Brazil was the second successive World Cup at which they had failed to get out of the group stage.

Conte steered Juventus to a third consecutive title last season, the first time the club had achieved the feat since a five-season title run in the 1930s. He has since been succeeded in Turin by former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Conte's time in charge of Juve was not without its controversial moments as, in the summer of 2013, he was caught up in a corruption row after he was charged with failing to report attempted match-fixing during his time with his previous club Siena.

He protested his innocence but was banned for 10 months, reduced on appeal to a four-month touchline ban, which saw him miss the first half of last season.

Conte, who captained the club during his playing career which stretched over more than 500 games and included five league titles, also led Juve to a record points haul of 102 points as they won their 30th official league title last season.

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