Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier loves Antonio Cote, reveals ex-Sporting CP coach
Speaking in an interview with the Athletic (Subscription Required), Jose Joao, who was Eric Dier’s first coach at Sporting CP at the Under 9s and Under 11s level, revealed the defender’s admiration for Antonio Conte.
The Italian became Spurs’ manager last year when he replaced Nuno Espirito Santo after a shaky start to Spurs’ 2021-22 season. Since then, the former Inter Milan manager has helped Tottenham qualify for the UEFA Champions League this season and is currently the mastermind behind their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Dier has been a big part of his team since then. The England international has played in seven games this season, scoring one goal.
He came through the academy at Sporting CP in Lisbon- Spurs’ opponent tomorrow in the UEFA Champions League. There, he was coached by Joao at the youth levels.
Dier returned to Portugal this summer when vacationing and caught up with the coach there. Joao fondly remembers his conversation with the 28-year-old and revealed that Dier is a fan of Conte.
“He loves the manager. When I saw him in the summer, I asked him which coach he identified with the most across his entire career, and he said it was (Antonio) Conte — you can see that the atmosphere at Tottenham today is different.”
Dier moved to Portugal with his family when he was seven years old. There, he made a name for himself in Sporting’s academy and sealed a move to Tottenham in the summer of 2014.
Initially a defensive midfielder in the starting stages of his career, Dier has found himself playing as a centre-back in recent years. He seems to be a leader of the line here at Spurs and is arguably one of Conte’s most reliable soldiers on the pitch.
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He will hope to start for Spurs once again as they take on Sporting tomorrow in Lisbon in their second UEFA Champions League group stage fixture this season.