Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone dies suddenly aged 61
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 06
The former Juventus coach was widely respected in the football world (Picture: Getty)

Legendary Italian fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, who has been part of ’s staff at Tottenham for the past year, has died suddenly at the age of 61.

According to Italian media, the fitness guru – whose notoriously gruelling regimes earned him the nickname ‘The Marine’ in his homeland – passed away on Thursday from acute leukaemia.

Ventrone had been seen in the Tottenham dugout as recently as three weeks ago for the north Londoners’ win over Leicester City, with the news rocking the club.

A statement from Spurs on Thursday confirmed: ‘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.’

Ventrone worked Spurs hard during a pre-season tour of South Korea (Getty)

Despite his demanding fitness sessions which left players gasping for breath and even vomiting, Ventrone was hugely popular within the dressing room at Spurs and was seen as a father figure by many of the players.

Ventrone’s methods were thrust into the spotlight in the summer, when his infamous running drill – which sees players run 42 lengths of the pitch after a full training session – went viral as Tottenham stars such as .

Son had a particularly close relationship with Ventrone and praised the Italian after he bagged his hat-trick against Leicester last month, having shared a hug with the coach on the pitch.

Ventrone was extremely well-liked by Spurs’ players (Picture: Getty)

‘He is a killer but I have a really, really good relationship with Gian Piero,’ said the South Korean. ‘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.’

Ventrone made his name with Juventus, spending a decade at the club between 1994 and 2004 – a period which saw the Italian giants win the Champions League with a team that actually featured Conte.

Explaining his methods, the fitness coach previously said: ‘Let’s clarify a basic concept: harder training does not mean better, otherwise we would train the players like the Marines. It’s simple, we train them like special departments and after two days there is no one left on the pitch.’

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