Tottenham Hotspur They won the Premier League football match against Brighton and Hove Albion, with a 1-0 win away from home which could prove to be a significant win at the end of the season. But the post-match press conference barely mentioned the match at all.
Instead, the head coach of Tottenham Antonio Conte used his time in front of the assembled media to speak at length about his friend Gian Piero Ventroni., the Tottenham Hotspur fitness coach who tragically died last week at the age of 61 from leukemia. His death left an absence that was difficult to fully express… but Conte certainly tried.
“I talked to [Gian Piero] Last week on Thursday, the last time I got to the training ground he wanted to talk to me. And to ask to stay home because he was suffering from a fever. And it was unbelievable because he was really worried about missing out on training. And I said: Gian Piero, we’re talking about your health. And at that moment he told me about his illness. And I said: This is your health, you should try to get the right checks, and don’t worry. His first problem was losing training!
“For this reason, I think it was in the heart of every player. The pain has really destroyed my players. But in life, sometimes, many situations happen, not only to us but to many people. Sometimes life is not good. At the same time You have to try to deal with this situation in the best possible way, and it must be for his family, for his wife Cinzia, for his son Ivan and for his daughter Martina, and then I’m sure Gian Piero will be with us forever, forever, I’m sure of that.”
Ventrone was very popular at the club both with players and staff. In the days following his death, many Tottenham players took to social media to talk about Ventroni. As a fitness trainer, Ventrone is very likely to be the one who is most physically tough on him, yet you don’t have to seem too hard to find excessive compliments and love for this person who has physically pushed them to the ground and caused them so much discomfort. . Because of this association, Conte said it was difficult to prepare his team for today’s match after the news spread.
“It was really hard because when that happened in the morning when we learned of his death, I told the players the bad news. It was really hard for everyone. We didn’t have a training session. We didn’t get the training session because we were very emotionally involved on Thursday. After that, we prepared for a match Friday, but sure, it was a tough period.
“Tomorrow there is the funeral in Naples, we will go with the staff. I want to stay with his family and give them big hearts and tell them, especially that his daughter, son and wife must be strong because Gian Piero was a really strong person. He was a person with a strong character, he did not want To see us unhappy. It’s hard to make him happy because the pain has destroyed us, but at the same time, we know that he will stay with us in the future, with me for sure.”
Conte said the team did not train on Thursday due to the emotional impact of Ventroni’s death, and hinted that he had backed away from the pressure in motivating his players to play. He was pleased with his team’s response. After the final whistle, club captain Hugo Lloris went to the visiting fans’ section carrying a Spurs shirt at home with “Gian Piero” on his back, allowing Tottenham’s travel support to express their condolences.
And in his post-match interview alongside Ryan Sessegnon, Harry Kane could barely control his emotions when recalling the events of the past week.
The reactions of the Tottenham players did not go unnoticed to Conte.
“I’m really proud of my players because I told them that before I had good players, I had really good players. [people]. Many times I repeated this concept. I think under these circumstances, they showed that they really matter [people] Because I know I tried not to get them to play this game.
“We tried many times to find the motivation to push these players and create a situation and increase tension. Today, honestly, I did nothing under that aspect. I left them to face the situation, and they showed me that I am really good people, great guys. I told them now that I am proud to be the coach of this team because First of all, we have the best players and really good players.”