the coach of Tottenham and former Juventus had leukemia-

from Salvatore Riggio

He was ill with leukemia. Known for being called “Marines”, he has long been the top man of the Juventus team of the era of Giraudo and Moggi

Football cries Gian Piero Ventrone, Antonio Conte’s iron athletic trainer, now in the Premier League at Tottenham, but for many years at Juventus. He died suddenly this morning, Thursday 6 October, in Naples, at the age of 62, from the consequences of a recently diagnosed leukemia.

Famous for being nicknamed “Marines” for his rather tough and exhausting training sessions, he was a top man of Juventus from the era of Antonio Giraudo and Luciano Moggi. Ventrone has in fact linked his name for a decade to Juventus, at the time coached by Marcello Lippi, the former coach of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He was one of the strengths of the bianconeri in Lippi’s years (winning the last Champions of the Old Lady, at the Olimpico in 1996 on penalties against Ajax, reigning champion) and Carlo Ancelotti, today at Real Madrid after having conquered titles everywhere.

After a long experience in Turin, he was for a season assistant coach of Ajaccio, in France, then again athletic trainer of Catania and of the Chinese clubs of the Jiangsu Suning and Guangzhou Evergrande. Ventrone returned to Europe in 2021 called by Antonio Conte, known when the current Spurs coach was a Juventus player. He strongly wanted him at Tottenham, and, with him in London, he had perfected the athletic preparation of the Spurs. This summer his training had knocked out the entire London team during the Asian tour in South Korea. In essence, Ventrone’s working methods had proved to be truly exhausting. Even the British newspaper Sun had called his endurance training “brutal running sessions”. The newspaper then documented a day of Tottenham training in the Asian country. The fatigue, the paper explained, had been so much “that Harry Kane was sick in the sticky dampness of South Korea.” Even the winger, former Juventus, Kulusevski had that day forfeited after half an hour for a calf problem, while initially the others had given the impression of doing well, despite the heat. At that point Ventrone had asked the players to do 42 laps of the field. Eventually everyone collapsed to the ground, even the local idol Son Heung-min who had done everything to resist so as not to look bad in front of his compatriots.

October 6, 2022 (change October 6, 2022 | 11:26)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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