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Gian Piero Ventrone dead: Conte’s Tottenham press conference canceled after passing

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Antonio Conte’s pre-match press conference is canceled after Tottenham’s fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, his good friend of 28, died suddenly at the age of 61

Antonio Conte’s press conference has been canceled after the death of Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone.

Conte was due to speak to media on Thursday ahead of Spurs’ trip to Brighton on Saturday in the Premier League.

The club called off the press conference after Ventrone, Conte’s right-hand man and Tottenham’s fitness guru, died of acute leukemia at the age of 61.

Tottenham coach Gian Piero Ventrone (left) teamed up with Antonio Conte (right) at Spurs in 2021

Ventrone was a coach at Juventus for most of Conte's career with the Italian giants

Ventrone was a coach at Juventus for most of Conte’s career with the Italian giants

Ventrone (circled) and Conte (far left) were part of Juventus that won the Champions League in 1996

Ventrone (circled) and Conte (far left) were part of Juventus that won the Champions League in 1996

Ventrone was a coach at Juventus for most of Conte’s career at the Italian club. He worked for the Serie ‘A’ giants from 1994 to 1999, and again between 2001 and 2004.

Conte played 296 games for Juve in 13 years in Turin and won the Champions League in 1996 with Ventrone. The pair also earned five Serie ‘A’ titles with the club.

When Ventrone was the team’s coach, all Juventus players had excellent physiques, with non-existent fat mass and excellent muscle tone. Conte was a player on that team and Ventrone was the one athletic trainer he has always trusted.

His death will feel like the loss of a family member for Conte, who will lose a huge chunk of his sporting and professional history with whom he lived for about 25 years between being a player and a coach.

“We are devastated to announce that fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has passed away,” Tottenham said in a statement on Thursday.

Ventrone - pictured here next to his daughter - died of leukemia on Thursday at the age of 61

Ventrone – pictured here next to his daughter – died of leukemia on Thursday at the age of 61

The 61-year-old joined the club in November 2021 as part of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff, where he previously held positions at Juventus, Catania, JS Suning, GZ Evergrande and AC Ajaccio.

As sweet off the pitch as he demanded it, Gian Piero quickly became a hugely popular figure with players and staff.

“He will be greatly missed by everyone at the Club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this impossibly sad time.”

Juventus said in their tribute: “One of the historic names at Juventus at the turn of the century, Gian Piero Ventrone, has left us at the age of 62.

Gian Piero worked as a Juventus athletics coach from 1994 to 1999, helping Marcello Lippi build and nurture a Juve team that won it all in Italy and Europe.

“From 2001 to 2004, he returned to Turin and enriched his and our trophies collection with other victories.

‘He used innovative methods of physical conditioning, inspired by modern criteria, which took the lead in Italy and abroad.

A member of Lippi’s staff when Italy won the World Cup in 2006, he continued to enrich his career, in France, China and England, where he worked before he died.

“We will always remember his attention to detail, his philosophy of work and perhaps his greatest talent, the realization that football – and especially the fundamental components of fitness and athletics – gradually entered a new era.

‘A new era that he helped write.

“Ciao, Gian Piero.”

More to follow.

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