The club announced the death of Tottenham Hotspur fitness coach Gian Piero Ventroni.
Reports in Italy indicated that the 61-year-old former Juventus coach, who worked with Antonio Conte when he was a player there, suddenly died of acute leukemia.
The club said in a statement on Thursday morning: “We are shocked to announce the death of fitness coach Gian Piero Ventroni. The 61-year-old joined the club in November 2021, as part of Antonio Conte’s support room staff, having previously held positions In Juventus, Catania, JS Sanning, GZ Evergrande and AC Ajaccio.Read:How Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Liverpool’s summer departures have fared so far this season
“As loved off the field as he was demanding, Gian Piero quickly became a hugely popular figure with the players and staff. He will be greatly missed at the club and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”
The Ventrone family announced on their Instagram page: “For anyone wishing to finally say goodbye to Dad, the Burning Chamber at the Fatebenefratelli Napoli Hospital (via Alessandro Manzoni 220) will be set up today through Saturday from 8:30am to 6:30pm. The funeral will take place at San Luigi Gonzaga Church at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 9 in Via Petrarca, 115 North America. We will embrace you all in a big hug, Cinzia, Evan and Martina.”
Son Heung-min was close to the fitness coach and hugged him long on the courtside after his hat-trick against Leicester last month.Read:England v South Africa: second Test, day two – live! | England v South Africa 2022
“I have a really good relationship with Gian Piero. So obviously his English isn’t perfect, and sometimes he comes on his phone and translates into English from Italian,” the South Korean star said. “It means a lot. Not from a football perspective, I think he gives me a lot of advice, and I’m really grateful to him.
“He was very helpful, always hugging me a lot in the hard times and even the great times he was always by my side and all the staff. Even the day before we left the training ground, the hotel, we had a few minutes of nice conversation that made me really relaxed and really grateful.”
In South Korea, during the club’s pre-season tour, winger Matt Doherty said: “It’s all about Gian Piero’s love, actually. Usually when you have a fitness coach like this running around, you get upset, you start to not like him but That’s not the case. We all absolutely love him. We respect him so much that we do whatever he commands us.”
Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hogberg added: “We love him. He’s a great guy with a lot of experience. They put us in some great work and we know we’ll improve and that’s great. It’s good to work hard.”Read:Accepted Breach Agreement between Red Bull Racing Team and the FIA for Breach of the 2021 FIA Formula One Financial Regulations
Ryan Sessegnon said of Ventroni: “He’s good. He’s obviously very good. But he’s a killer—seriously. Very strong. The more physical players he knows, he knows he can push you, the more you’ll have to.”
Tottenham’s chief financial officer, Todd Klein, said after confirming the news: “Far away from the sad news. GPV has been a natural force that has had a positive impact on everyone he met. I will miss our conversations on the road and his infectious positive attitude. Just a phenomenal human being. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Conte’s press conference on Thursday before the Premier League match in Brighton has been called off in light of the tragic news.