The Italian was a much-valued member of Antonio Conte’s staff and previously worked with the manager during his time as a player at Juventus.

Tottenham Hotspur has announced that their fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has passed away from fulminant leukemia at the age of 61.The Italian was a much-valued member of Antonio Conte’s staff having joined in November 2021 and previously worked with the manager during his time as a player at Juventus.

“We are devastated to announce that fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has passed away.

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

‘As loveable off the pitch as he was demanding on 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.’

Tottenham said in a statement.

Italian publication La Republicca reported that Ventrone, who was nicknamed ‘The Marine’ due to his diligent approach to training, passed away in Naples overnight.

Conte, who canceled a planned press conference on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s trip to Brighton, trusted his fellow Italian with enforcing the strict fitness regime at the club, with Ventrone responsible for the drill that saw several Spurs players suffering during an intense session in Seoul during pre-season.

Despite his tough methods he was well-liked by the Tottenham players and was seen celebrating with Son Heung-min after the forward’s recent hat-trick against Leicester, with the South Korean paying tribute to him after the game.

“I have a really, really good relationship with Gian Piero,” 

“So obviously his English is not perfect, sometimes he is coming with his phone and translating into English from Italian,” 

“It means a lot. Not as football-wise, I think life-wise he gives me so much advice, which I am really grateful.

“He has been so helpful, giving me always a big hug in tough times and even great times he has always been next to me and every staff. Even today before we left the training ground, the hotel, we had a couple of minutes of having a nice conversation which made me really comfortable and really grateful.”

Said Son Tottenham’s No.7.

Ventrone was brought to Juventus by legendary Italian coach Marcello Lippi in 1994 and was seen as the man responsible for improving the fitness of the Italian giants as they enjoyed one of their most successful periods, including winning the Champions League in 1996.

Former Juve players Fabrizio Ravanelli and Fabio Cannavaro have also appointed Ventrone during their own managerial careers in France and China respectively before Conte brought him to Spurs last year.

His funeral is set to take place on Sunday afternoon in Naples.

Source: The Mirror

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