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‘Just shows how world class he is’ – Antonio Conte lauded by Chelsea fans and devastated Italians

If there was a winner from Italy’s World Cup misery on Monday night, it was Antonio Conte as the Chelsea boss was widely praised by all.

The Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next summer after defeat in their qualifying playoff against Sweden, with Gian Piero Ventura coming under fire throughout the qualification run.

From his 4-2-4 system against Spain which led to a convincing defeat in Madrid, to the limp loss to the Swedes in the first leg, it was a qualifying campaign to forget for the veteran tactician who now faces the shame of being an Italy coach who failed to take them to a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

While the blame should predominantly be handed out to the management and coaching staff for getting it so badly wrong with their tactics and personnel time and time again, many took the opportunity to also praise Conte for the work that he did while in charge of the national team.

The 48-year-old enjoyed a two-year spell as Italy boss, guiding them to the quarter-finals at Euro 2016 despite not being fancied to get that far, while they only eventually lost on penalties to Germany.

In turn, to see where Italy have gone since perhaps proves what a stellar job he did to help them overachieve last summer, and while Chelsea fans were quick to heap praise on him for being such a top coach, some Italians were pining for a return although an immediate poll in the aftermath on Monday night suggests he isn’t the overriding choice to replace Ventura.

It’s clear who many Chelsea fans want in charge though, as despite well-documented reports of trouble at Stamford Bridge, as noted by The Guardian, he remains a very popular figure…

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