Tottenham have announced that fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has died suddenly of fulminant leukemia aged 61.
Known as Antonio Conte’s fitness guru, he joined Spurs in 2021 and was renowned for his punishing fitness routines that earned him the nickname ‘the Marine’ from his time in Italy.
After falling ill, he was taken to the Fatebenefratelli Hospital in Naples before he died suddenly on Thursday.
Due to the sad news, the club subsequently decided to cancel the press conference with coach Conte as the club mourns the loss of Ventrone.
We are devastated to announce that fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has passed away.
He will be greatly missed by everyone at the Club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.
— Tottenham (@SpursOfficial) October 6, 2022
The club issued a statement this morning confirming the sad news saying: “It is with great sadness that we 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, having previously held roles at Juventus, Catania, JS Suning, GZ Evergrande and AC Ajaccio.
“As lovable off the pitch as demanding on it, Gian Piero has quickly become 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 incredibly sad time.”
Forcing Conte’s team to do grueling sessions in 30 degree heat and 70 per cent humidity in July saw the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son collapse on the ground and even vomit as a result of completing the grueling session .
While wing-back Matt Doherty revealed the summer’s preparation was the “toughest” he had ever experienced, he also claimed the team “absolutely loved him” despite his testing methods.
Antonio Conte’s brutal pre-season training left Spurs players on their knees!
The Tottenham boss is putting his players through their paces on a pre-season tour of South Korea… 😳 pic.twitter.com/N10eQjCyhl
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 12, 2022
The Italian was also part of his country’s World Cup triumph in 2006, as part of Marcello Lippi’s staff.
He also spent 10 years at Juventus with Lippi, as well as current Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, between 1994-2004, in a highly successful period for the club.
The Old Lady also issued a statement following his death, writing: “We will always remember his attention to detail, his work philosophy and perhaps his greatest talent, his understanding that football – and especially the fundamentals of preparation and of sports – was gradually entering a new era.
“A new era that, in part, he helped to write. Ciao, Gian Piero.”
Our thoughts are with his friends, family and the club at this time.