Antonio Conte is currently one of the top coaches in the game and has worked with some top players in his career. He has earned a place between the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, and Jose Mourinho as one of the best tacticians in the current age of football.
Conte rose to prominence as he masterminded the Bianconeri renaissance in Turin, thereafter moving to Chelsea and winning the league title with Chelsea. He’s one of only five managers to have won the Premier League during his first season.
Two more years at Stamford Bridge and a twelve-month break later, Conte has rocked up at Inter, trying to knock his former employers, Juventus off the perch of Italian football. Conte, in his glittering career, won three Serie A titles and the Italian Super Cup with Juventus, one Premier League title and an FA Cup with Chelsea, as well as the Serie B title with Bari.
It’s safe to say that Conte has coached some of the best players in the world, and the good folks at Transfermarkt have pulled together data of some of the best players who have played under the 50-year-old.
So, who makes the cut? And who misses out?
Here are Antonio Conte’s best eleven players of the last decade.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) – 7.87 rating
Regarded as one of the top two best goalkeepers of the generation along with Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon has rightly cemented his place as one of the best keepers ever to play the game. An ever-present in Antonio Conte’s utterly dominant Juventus side, the legendary goalkeeper was his captain as the Bianconeri won league titles year after year under the Italian tactician, while they also reached the Champions League final once.
Centre-back: Andrea Barzagli (Juventus) – 7.21 rating
Juventus’ success over the last decade was built on a solid foundation provided by a three-man backline, of which Andrea Barzagli was a prominent member. In terms of appearances, the Italian is the fifth-most frequently used player by Conte (115).
Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus) – 7.63 rating
Leonardo Bonucci was a crucial aspect in the heart of a three-man defence alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli. The trio established themselves as one of the best defensive lines in Europe under the Italian mastermind. Bonucci is the most frequently used player by Conte in his career, with the centre-back making 136 appearances for Juventus and Italy combined.
Centre-back: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) – 7.41 rating
Giorgio Chiellini has been an instrumental part of the club in the Bianconeri’s resurgence as the best team in Italy. Marshalling his troops exceptionally well which made him such a vital member, Chiellini has featured 117 times under Conte for Juve and Italy combined. Currently, he serves as the captain to the club.
Central defensive midfielder: Arturo Vidal (Juventus) – 7.63 rating
Arturo Vidal went on to become the heartbeat of the all-conquering Juventus side under Conte. The Chilean midfielder, with his energy and tenacious nature, essayed the box-to-box role with such perfection and ease. In 111 appearances for Juve under Conte, Vidal scored 34 goals and assisted 19.
Central midfielder: Paul Pogba (Juventus) – 7.56 rating
Pogba arrived as a talented but raw youngster and flourished into one of the most exciting young midfielders in the game under the Italian’s tutelage at Juventus. The Frenchman played some of his best football under Conte, scoring 12 goals and assisting 16, and he sure made Manchester United regret their decision of letting him leave on a free.
Central midfielder: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – 7.77 rating
Kante played a crucial part in Leicester City‘s title-winning campaign and was snapped up by Conte for Chelsea the following year. Under Conte’s reign, the Frenchman saw a drastic improvement in his passing abilities. Kante also won the Chelsea Players’ ‘Player of the Year’ in his debut season with the Blues.
Central attacking midfielder: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus) – 7.85 rating
Signed on a free transfer, Pirlo demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the best midfielders ever, dictating and controlling matches from deep midfield for Juventus. Just like wine, Pirlo got better with age. The man who made Conte’s Bianconeri tick, Pirlo featured 119 times under the Italian tactician (Juventus and Italy combined), scoring four goals and assisting 29.
Striker: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – 7.52 rating
One of the biggest driving forces behind Chelsea’s success under Antonio Conte, Eden Hazard had already established himself as one of the best in the Premier League when the Italian arrived. Hazard scored 16 goals in Conte’s first season compared to only four in Mourinho’s last season with the Blues. In 2017, the Belgian won his fourth PFA Player of the Year award under the master Italian.
Striker: Diego Costa (Chelsea) – 8.77 rating
It is no secret that Conte and Costa never really got along. But there is no denying that Conte wouldn’t have won the league title in his first season at Chelsea without the mercurial Costa leading the attack. The Spanish international plundered 20 goals and set up eight more in 35 league appearances in 2016/17, helping the Blues to the Premier League title. He also won a personal accolade for the Premier League Player of the Month in November 2016.
Antonio Conte’s best eleven players of the last decade.