New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: 'I am a religious man and I like to go to church'

Antonio Conte, the new Chelsea manager, has opened up about his strong Christian faith in an interview before his first full season in charge at the club.

New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has opened up about his Christian faith.Reuters

"I am a religious man and I like to go to church," Conte, an Italian Catholic, 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 fare 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 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."