Antonio Conte is a born winner.
From his days as a versatile, intelligent and tenacious midfielder when he won 14 trophies including five Serie A titles and the Champions League, to life on the touchline which has so far produced a catalogue of triumphs in Italy and England.
Over the weekend Conte added a fourth Serie A title to his managerial collection after he successfully spearheaded Inter Milan to the Scudetto.
In the process he ended Juventus’ nine-year dominance of the league, a dominance he had actually kick-started back in 2011/12 when he won three successive Scudettos and a couple of Supercoppa Italianas as the Old Lady manager.
In between those spells in charge of Juventus and Inter Milan, Conte propelled Chelsea to the Premier League title following that masterful tactical switch to three at the back. He added the FA Cup to his collection the following season.
Conte has now remarkably won a league title in five of his last seven seasons in club management, spanning three clubs in two countries.
He’s not just waltzed into title winning clubs either.
When he was appointed at Juventus they had just finished 7th and hadn't won the league since he was there as a player (2003). As a manager he immediately ended the title drought by winning three Scudettos in three years.
The 2016/17 Premier League season was expected to be dominated by the Manchester arrivals of Pep Guardiola (City) and Jose Mourinho (United), yet it was Conte’s appointment at Chelsea - who had finished 10th the previous season - which resulted in the league title.
In the process he became the first ever manager to win 30 games in a Premier League season.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan had finished 4th before he took over and then won the title in his second season, having come runners-up in his first campaign (by a point) which also saw Inter reach the Europa League final.
Conte just so happens to be the 13th different Nerazzurri manager since the club’s last title triumph under Jose Mourinho who won back-to-back Scudettos in 2009 and 2010. It’s proved to be lucky Number 13 on this occasion.
When Conte’s teams are on a roll they are incredibly difficult to stop.
Inter are currently enjoying an 18-game unbeaten run in Serie A; Chelsea won 13 games on the spin after Conte’s tactical switch to a three-man defence with motoring wing-backs; Juventus accrued 273 points in three seasons under the boss who didn’t experience a single league defeat in his first season in Turin.
Conte’s feisty and at times volcanic approach to management isn’t for everyone. He’s certainly not afraid to shake things up in order to execute his gameplan.
But, he’s a born leader and a serial winner who is relentless in his pursuit of glory.
Conte’s a workaholic whose teams are intense and play with a never-say-die attitude. He’s a skilled strategist, is tactically versatile - Guardiola famously called him a ‘tactical master’ - and elevates players to new heights; a case in point being Romelu Lukaku who has thrived under the Italian’s tutorship.
Antonio Conte has won five league titles in his last seven seasons
Tuttosport awarded Conte a rating of 10/10 for his title success, while the man himself told Italian TV (quotes via BBC Sport). "This is one of the most important successes of my career. Deciding to join Inter was not easy, just when the team was not equipped to win immediately.
"Furthermore, the opponent was Juventus for whom I had worked for a long time, who had dominated for nine years. Today we can say that our sacrifices have paid off."
So, what's next for Conte?
In 2019, the 51-year-old signed a three-year with Inter Milan, which is a reported €12m-a-year.
Inter fans will hope Conte will stay and mount a successful Scudetto defence next season, and make an impact in the Champions League following this season’s group stage exit.
However, when asked about his future Conte said that an evaluation will be made at the end of the season.
There’s an intriguing vacancy over in North London which certainly makes things interesting.
In the two weeks since Jose Mourinho’s exit we’ve seen an abundance of managers linked with the post, yet for some reason Conte’s name has barely got a mention.
Daniel Levy is a meticulous man who will surely be monitoring Conte. The Italian’s credentials, pedigree and winning mentality are exactly what’s needed at Spurs, who have so far watched Julian Nagelsmann sign for Bayern Munich, Erik ten Hag pen a new deal at Ajax, and Brendan Rodgers commit himself to Leicester City.
If Conte (33/1 with Paddy Power) drops even the minutest of hints that he’s interested in a return to the Premier League, then Levy must act.
It will cost him, and while he’ll have doubts over appointing another ex-Chelsea boss, this situation has a different feel to it. Before his arrival at Spurs, Mourinho had previously endured a bitter end to life at Man Utd whereas Conte is full of momentum and swagger following his success at Inter.
Conte’s undoubtedly one of the best bosses on the planet who possesses a stunning CV with a recent history of success. He’s left a big managerial footprint on England’s shores before, so who's to say he can’t leave another in the near future.