Most new football coaches talk about tactics and ambition when they are introduced to the press. For Italy’s new coach Antonio Conte however his official unveiling was dogged by questions over his pay.
Part of his 4.1 million euro annual salary will be met by sponsors including sportswear manufacturer Puma. He denied it would cause a conflict of interest and focused on his personal pride.
“Let us not forget that Italy together with Brazil is one of the most important soccer national teams in the world. We have four stars, we have won four world cups and that alone can explain my emotion I derive from being the manager of this team. I am very proud the president decided to pick me,” he told reporters.
The 45-year-old led Juventus to three titles in as many seasons before taking the reins of Italy in the wake of their ignominious exit at the group stages in Brazil.
He will take charge of his first match against the Netherlands in a friendly on September 4.