May 30, 2024

Cristian Stellini: How much do we know about the acting head coach of Tottenham?

Following Antonio Conte’s departure from North London, Cristian Stellini was named Tottenham’s interim head coach. The Italian has already assumed leadership roles multiple times this season and the two have a long history together, having worked together at Juventus, Bari, Siena, Inter Milan, and Spurs.

Tottenham surprised everyone on Sunday night when they revealed that Antonio Conte’s lengthy departure from the North London club was finalised.

Not because the Italian was not thanked, but rather because his assistant and fellow countryman Cristian Stellini was going to stay on and serve as the team’s temporary head coach for the remainder of the season, assisted by Ryan Mason.

With Conte’s exit, the two’s most recent project comes to an end after 16 months. However, for the past 20 years, Conte and Stellini have also been in a working relationship, albeit with sporadic breaks.

At Juventus in 2003, the two people’s professional paths initially intersected. That summer, Stellini moved to I Bianconeri from Como, but injury limited him to just two appearances; in contrast, Conte, who was five years his senior, was nearing the end of his nearly two-decade playing career.

After that, Stellini played for Bari under Conte from 2007 to 2009, and when Conte took over at Siena in 2010, he hired Stellini as his first assistant soon after he retired. The next summer, he followed him to Juventus and assumed the same role.

Nevertheless, he left Turin after 13 months after receiving a 2.5-year ban for allegedly tampering with matches, a charge he vehemently denied.

“The past month’s events have had a profound impact on me,” Stellini stated in a statement at the time. “I quickly went from being a member of the Italian champions’ technical staff to a source of conflict for my coworkers.

“I feel it is only right to act professionally and release this weight from Juventus, which fell on the club’s shoulders due to my time elsewhere in my career, regardless of how my legal situation develops.

“I believe it is appropriate to commit all of my time and energy to establishing my position in these matters, which are personal to me and have nothing to do with people I merely shared a locker room with. As a result, I hereby tender my irreversible resignation from Juventus as technical assistant.”

After a brief hiatus, Stellini rejoined the football scene in 2015 and worked as a youth coach at Genoa until 2017. He then accepted his first position as a head coach at Serie C club Alessandria, although his two-year contract was terminated in November.

He began playing for Inter Milan in 2019 as Conte’s assistant. In 2020–21, he took over as team captain while Conte served a three-game touchline ban, leading them to victory in every match.

Stellini was therefore extremely knowledgeable when he was called upon to step in for Conte on multiple occasions this season.

The first time was during a 2-1 Champions League victory over Marseille in November, during which Conte was compelled to serve a touchline ban. The second time occurred on February 5 in the Premier League against Manchester City, following the announcement that the Spurs head coach would stay in Italy.

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