Marco Borriello reveals the toughest coaches he ever worked with were Antonio Conte, Zdenek Zeman and Gian Piero Gasperini. ‘With Conte I was vomiting and getting close to a heart attack.’
He sat down with Christian Vieri for the new version of the talk show that now airs on the official Lega Serie A radio and YouTube channel, going back over his career and the hardest taskmasters in the business.
“Nobody made me run more than Gasperini, Conte and Zeman. With them in three years I lost six years of my career,” said the 41-year-old.
Considering his description of what working with Conte was like, it is perhaps fortunate that Borriello was only in that Juventus team for six months from January to June 2012.
“With Conte I was vomiting. The medical staff kept an eye on us, including a tracker of our heart rate. As soon as the beats started to drop, you would get shouted at to intensify. I ended up reaching 196 beats per minute. Basically, I was at 99 per cent effort, getting close to a heart attack.”
It wasn’t just Borriello who was not very happy with the fitness regime under Conte at Juventus.
“Fabio Quagliarella used to mutter swearwords in Neapolitan. Conte was a monster, but also a maestro in going through games in the following days with a little laser pointer. At the end of the day, he did improve you as a player.
“The team would move like an accordion, we felt good and proved it on the field. That year we won the Scudetto and he won more elsewhere.”
Borriello crossed paths with Zeman at Roma, and although the coach is known for his chain-smoking and relatively little effort even to speak, he certainly knows how to put players through their paces.
“His fitness training was long, a massacre. I couldn’t even sleep at night because I was so tired. I tried to hang near to Francesco Totti, because nobody was going to criticise the captain for not putting effort in.”