Chelsea manager Antonio Conte opens up about his prayer life

New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has again opened up about his Christian faithReuters

Antonio Conte, the Catholic new Chelsea football manager, has again opened up about his strong faith, describing how he prays every day, mainly for his family's health, and regularly attends Mass.

The former Juventus and Italy coach told how he carves out time for prayer and attends Mass during the week if he can't get there on Sundays because of a match.

"When I can't go on Sundays, then I will go to pray in the week," Conte told the Mail on Sunday. "I will go for 10 minutes, just to pray, and to think. I pray before a game. Not for success. I pray for good health. I pray for my parents and my wife and daughter and my family to stay well. I pray in the morning and before I go to bed. I pray for my family and also the people who are ill or who are suffering. I ask God to help. I think health is the most important thing in this world. I pray for me, for my parents and for people who are suffering." He added: "If, after that, God wants to help my team then I am also very happy! If I am honest, that is secondary."

Conte described his upbringing in the Catholic faith. "I always believed, because my parents brought me up that way," he said. "They took me to church in my childhood and I spent a lot of time playing football outside the church. We'd go to mass and then we would be given a little football to play outside the church. Now I try to go to church on the day of the game. In Italy, Sunday is the day you normally go to Mass and in the two years when I was manager of the national team I always went to church with my wife and my daughter."

The comments follow an interview last week in which the 47-year-old described how his faith helps him through "good moments and bad moments".

"I am a religious man and I like to go to church," Conte told the Daily Express on his 47th birthday. "Religion is an important part in myself and I think it helped me in different moments, good moments and bad moments."

Conte, whose first Premiership match in charge at Stamford Bridge will be the season's opener against London rivals West Ham on 15 August, has been through his fair share of career ups and downs.

In May, he was finally cleared of match-fixing allegations that have dogged his reputation since he was accused of failing to report an incident of attempted match-fixing while in charge of Serie B club Siena in 2011.

He served a four-month ban as Juventus coach at the end of 2012 and then faced an extensive investigation by the Italian authorities.

"The story is a bad story for me and I don't accept this," he said. "...In my heart the story was very bad for me, my family. I saw in that moment a bad situation, many people who wrote bad things without knowing the reality."

Conte and his wife Elisabetta have a daughter, Vittoria. "When I don't work, I like to stay with my family, with my wife and daughter," he said. "I hope that in the future to give a brother to my daughter."

He told a press conference last month: "This is a new chapter for my life, for my career, for me, and for my family."

In his Express interview, Conte said he only finds "peace" with success.

"I find the peace in myself after the game when I win," he said.

"For this reason I want to work very hard and find different solutions and to give options to my players. Only when I win am I relaxed. It's important when you lose because you learn. You try to see why you didn't win. You learn a lot in yourself but to win is beautiful."