Gianfranco Zola believes newly-appointed Chelsea coach Antonio Conte’s exploits with Juventus means he should be considered to be on the same level as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
Conte led Juventus in a dominant three-year spell in which he claimed three-straight Serie A titles before moving on to coach Italy.
The Italian will step down from his national team role to take on the job at Stamford Bridge, currently held by interim manager Guus Hiddink, after the conclusion of Euro 2016.
“He’s done so well in Italy that he has to be considered the same level as Guardiola and Mourinho,” Zola, who made over 250 appearances for Chelsea between 1996 and 2003, told BBC.
“He has not won as much internationally but he is a good coach with a strong personality. I’m sure he will bring a lot to Chelsea.”
Zola admitted that his job in recruiting new players to Stamford Bridge might be harder without Champions League football.
“Antonio as a coach is very disciplined, he demands a lot from the side no matter who you are and also tactically he works a lot,” he added.
“There might be a problem bringing big players because playing in the Champions League is a big issue, but that actually could be an advantage because there won’t be as much pressure on him. He will do well with Chelsea, I am sure.”
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