Antonio Conte has today been presented with the 29th “Viareggio Sport Gherardo Gioè” award at a ceremony held at the Tuscan city’s Centro Congressi Principi di Piemonte.
The Juve manager has won many great honours throughout his career, but on collecting the award that has been bestowed on local and national sports personalities since 1985, the 44-year-old began his speech by saying that his family’s presence made this recognition particularly special.
“I’m touched because my wife and my daughter are here today,” Conte said. “I’d like to thank the organisers for offering me such a prestigious acknowledgement in a city were many important coaches like Fascetti and Lippi were born.”
Eugenio Fascetti, who was present at today’s ceremony, was the current Bianconeri boss' very first coach, and has described how he recognised straight away that here was a man who had the qualities to lead a team.
“He handed me my debut at the age of 16,” Conte continued, “showing that even young lads can play, just look at Pogba…He was a guru in all walks of life, not just football.”
His words for former coach and famous son of Viareggio Marcello Lippi were equally glowing: “He’s the only person to have won two “Champions League” competitions, one in Europe and one on the other side of the world.
“Both he and Fascetti were hugely important figures for me and I’m happy to receive this award here, the place where they were born and where there are so many Juventini.”
Conte concluded by revealing to whom he was dedicating the award: “This is for my family, who are often deprived of my time when I concentrate on my work and try not to leave anything to chance, and also for the club and the lads, who have always believed in me right from the beginning.”