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Antonio Conte
Gender Male
Ethnic Italian
Job Italian Football Coach
Desc Winner of domestic league titles in both Italy and England, there is no doubting the credentials of current Inter manager Antonio Conte. The former heartbeat of Italy’s midfield has worked with some of the best players to grace the modern game, but his success owes much to his reinventing of the 3-5-2 wheel. Charged with reviving Juventus’ fortunes after the Calciopoli scandal, Conte led La Vecchia Signora to three consecutive Serie A titles - before impressing his philosophy upon an arguably average Chelsea side, winning the Premier League in his first year in charge

Affiliation

Club as Coach Inter Milan
  Chelsea FC

2013 12 31 Retrieve

[Juventus may have been beaten by Galatasaray on a mud patch in December but Bianconeri boss Antonio Conte certainly won the war of words afterwards] At halftime I reiterated to the referee that it was not safe to play in these conditions. Didier Drogba said it was the same thing for both teams, but I pointed out it wasn’t, because we were trying to play football

2014 02 23 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte on Fabio Capello] When that football ‘guru’ speaks, we ought to just kneel down and say, ‘Yessir!’. Other historic Juventus coaches, like Marcello Lippi and Giovanni Trapattoni, are respectful but Capello is disrespectful and annoying. Since I’ve been here he’s always been talking about Juventus and sticking his nose in. Perhaps our statistics and records annoy him. Capello ought to mind his own business. He won two Scudetti with a tank of a squad, but nobody will remember their style of football or Capello for anything in particular

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[Italy coach Antonio Conte on his job] A tailor makes a suit out of the materials available to him. He can only do what the material allows him to do. The work of a football coach is rather similar

2016 07 16 Retrieve

[New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte looks ahead to upcoming English Premier League season when speaking to the media at his first press conference] Chelsea belongs in the Champions League and we must stay there. I know only the road to take the club back to competing and winning the title - work, work, work. The coach is a tailor who must make the best dress for the team. Last season in tenth was a bad season, but we must think to the present.

2016 10 23 Retrieve

[Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United coaching staff ignored Antonio Conte’s outstretched hand as they turned to retreat down the tunnel, it provoked a heated argument with a member of the Italian’s own back-room team] I think that a private conversation must remain private. If someone discover something, OK … but for me the private conversation remains private.

I think that, today, it was right to call on our fans in a moment when I could only hear the supporters of Manchester United [singing] at 4-0. So I called the fans to give the players a great clap after this kind of performance. The players deserved that

We live with emotions. If you want to cut the emotions, we can stay at home and I will change jobs. It’s important for our fans to push in every moment of the game. When the players deserve it after this performance, it’s right to receive a great clap from the fans.

It’s right to celebrate when you win. When you work very hard and win, it’s important to celebrate. But I prefer to win a war, not a battle. I have already told my players that Manchester United is in the past. Now we must be focused on Wednesday because there is another important, tough game against West Ham [in the League Cup]. It’s important to celebrate this evening, but then to start to focus on another game

2016 12 17 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on why his forward Diego Costa enjoys a beer after a match] [It is good] for rehydration, you can drink Coca-Cola or one beer. It’s good for recovery. But one. Not a lot. It’s good. After you finish the game, quickly, not an hour after the end. I have great professionals in my players. In this case, I don’t think a coach or a manager can say: ‘Do this’ or ‘Don’t do this’. I have great professionals and I know they will have the better attitude and behaviours in this situation

2017 01 27 Retrieve

[Conte won’t sell Begovic unless replacement is found] Yes, Begovic will start. Begovic is a Chelsea player, it is important to understand this. And Begovic for me will stay. I understand all the players but I think it’s important also for the player to understand me and the club. Now it is very difficult because not one club is able to sell you a good player. We are open to help him if there is the opportunity to replace him in the best way. If it is not possible then Begovic will stay with us. At the end of the season we will evaluate the situation in the best way. I don’t know about a lot of names that I read. For sure there is this situation and Bournemouth asked about him but he is Chelsea’s player and I am very happy for him to stay in the squad, His commitment, his behaviour outside of the pitch. He is very important in the changing room. Only if we can have a good substitution can he go

[Defender Branislav Ivanovic is another to be linked with a move but Conte would not be drawn on his future] I don’t know. For sure this is a particular month because there is this window. There are a lot of speculations. There are a lot of lies but there is also truth in some situations. I don’t know what will happen at the end of this window. The club knows my thoughts about this. If we stay with these players, I am very happy too. I think that we have to improve our squad in [terms of] the number of players because in some roles we are short with a few players. If that happens I am very happy. If it doesn’t happen we will continue in this way

[He could not, however, confirm whether Kenedy or Charly Musonda will be allowed out on loan] I’ve read a lot of good names in the newspaper, yes. I think that sometimes you know more than me about this! I have confidence in my players. I don’t know if we will sign new players I must be honest. For sure, if Kenedy and Musonda play only one second they must stay with us for the rest of the season. The players know this, the club and me know this. But I think that they are two young players with good prospects. They have a good will to fight and to try to improve and work. If we take this decision to stay here I think that the players will be very happy and the club and I the same. For this season, Ruben and Chalobah, for sure they continue to stay with us for the rest of the season. We will continue in this way to try to develop our players, like Musonda, Kenedy and [Nathan] Ake

2017 02 01 Retrieve

[Conte doesn’t believe that Ivanovic’s career is over and that a move to Zenit St. Petersburg could revitalise the Serbia captain to another few years of influential performances] He has played a lot of games for Chelsea and has won a lot here. He is 32 years old and can play many more years at the top level but it’s important to respect the player’s decision

2017 02 25 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte praises Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti, who will reach 1,000 games as a coach this weekend] He is now the best Italian coach, one of the best in the world. 1,000 games is not easy, to stay on the bench for that long but with that responsibility to win every season is great. He deserves the best

2017 03 18 Retrieve

[Chelsea manager Antonio Conte praised United counterpart Jose Mourinho for his successful coaching spells with the Stamford Bridge outfit] I think Jose Mourinho wrote a good part of the history of Chelsea. He won a lot with the players. He did a great job here in Chelsea. It’s important, always, not to forget this. I have great respect for him because he’s a winner. I like his mentality. He has a winning mentality. For sure, he’s one of the best in the world and, here, he did a great job. I think every single fan must respect him. Would I like to write a history like him and leave like a hero? In the future, I hope so. His history with Chelsea was great. I know very well he’s in the heart of Chelsea’s fans. It’s great this because he deserves it. For sure, I hope in the future to emulate his wins here

2017 04 08 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte speaks after his side’s 2-1 win over Manchester City] I think I played tonight with my players, for sure. I suffered with them. We must be pleased because we beat a very strong team – I think they’re the best team in the league

2017 04 21 Retrieve

[Ugo Ehiogu’s death leaves Chelsea’s Antonio Conte pondering own mortality] It is a shock, for sure. When this type of situation happens I am a 47-year-old, a former player, and a coach. You think - for sure, this could happen to me. You think about this, and you hope that this situation never happens to someone. But when it happens, you reflect a lot about life. And sometimes you think [you should] live the life more, and not sometimes be angry for stupid problems. Because you don’t know if the day after you’ll be here, or another place. This situation is very clear for us. We are in trouble. Aké has been showing me in all this period, always a great commitment. He worked very hard, his behaviour was fantastic.

[Cahill’s absence might have been considered an ideal opportunity to rehabilitate the club captain, John Terry, who has started three of Chelsea’s four FA Cup ties on their road to Wembley. Instead Conte revealed that he would put his trust in Nathan Aké] And don’t forget that Aké was playing every game with Bournemouth, and he wanted to come and try to help us fight for the title. I think he’s a good player, he deserves this opportunity and I trust him. I have no problem to take this decision.

Aké has been showing me in all this period, always a great commitment. He worked very hard, his behaviour was fantastic. And don’t forget that Aké was playing every game with Bournemouth, and he wanted to come and try to help us fight for the title. I think he’s a good player, he deserves this opportunity and I trust him. I have no problem to take this decision

I think the FA Cup is a great competition. There is a great tradition in this competition and we want to respect this. But I think also when there is a clash with a game you have to play in the league this situation is very clear for us, we are in trouble to face this situation. I have to take the best decision, to find the right balance.

We have to enjoy this moment, because this moment is great for everyone. For me, in my first season, and for my players because they worked a lot to arrive at this point. I think we have to enjoy this moment, to help each other, and to live with joy because if we think of where we started this season, I think every one of us would have signed up to have the situation we face now

[Conte dismissed Mauricio Pochettino’s suggestion that Chelsea’s gilded recent history and current league leadership make them heavy favourites for the game as an excuse] I think that Tottenham must be considered at the top, because they are now a really great power in English football. They have been working three years and I think it’s the right moment not to consider them underdogs and have this excuse. They are a great team and for the second year they are fighting for the title. Last year they missed this, this year they are trying again, and I think in the future they will fight every year for the title because they are full of strong players and they are building something important

2017 04 22 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte thinks second-place Tottenham Hotspur are the best team in the league. Despite Chelsea have a four-point lead at the top of the English Premier League] It won’t be easy because I think Tottenham are now the best team. They are in good form and they have a lot of enthusiasm. They are feeling the possibility to write history and it is important for us to know this

2017 05 13 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte reveals his delight after winning the English Premier League title in his debut season as Chelsea manager] For me to win in my first season in England, I am really proud of the achievement. My players showed me great professionalism, commitment, work-rate and will to try to win this league. We have two games to celebrate, then we try to make this season from great to fantastic

2017 05 26 Retrieve

[Modest Conte comes across as very much a glass half-empty man - he is too aware of the downside of professional football to linger too long on the fleeting giddiness of glory] I don’t like a lot the champagne. I celebrated, for sure, with my staff. We had a dinner together, and we had ‘cheers’. It’s right to enjoy this moment because if you win after a strong season like this, it’s right to enjoy it. I don’t smoke, but tomorrow I’m hoping to smoke a cigar if we win. I’m ready to do this

But I can tell you that, to celebrate the win, the moment of the celebration is less. The low from a defeat is longer than the high after a win.

At the moment, my situation is very clear. I have two more years’ contract with the club. Then, if the club give me the possibility to stay here and to extend my contract, for sure I am available to do this. But we have the same idea about the future. The way we have to do things together, to improve the squad and the team. But, I repeat, I’m happy for this season and am happy to stay here. I hope to stay here for many years.

[As ever, Conte draws inspiration from the bad moments to deliver the good times - the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in September which triggered a major tactical rethink] In my career, I had tough moments, at Arezzo in my first role. I started my career with a team in the lower divisions. But, for sure, when you arrive at a new club like Chelsea and the level of expectation is so high, you have to be ready to face this moment.

I think, at this moment, you see the real value of the coach. In these moments you can appreciate the reaction of the coach, if the coach is able to understand the moment and find a solution to completely change the season. But, honestly, I was always very calm. I knew that I was putting all of myself, all my strength, into this new job. Myself and my staff were working so hard for the club and the players. Anything can happen in a season, but the most important thing is your soul, your heart, are calm.

2017 07 29 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte speaks of his admiration for Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane] Tottenham is a really good squad, if they are able to keep all the players. For me, Harry Kane, now, is one of the best strikers in the world. If I had to buy one striker, I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker. He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left. If you go to buy Kane now, it would be at least £100m

2017 09 30 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte reveals that he will return to his homeland before too long] I have nostalgia for Italy and this is without doubt. I have in my head not to stay abroad for so long. Once [I am] done [with] some nice and formative experiences, I for sure will return to Italy

2017 11 24 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte talks about the selling of former Chelsea FC such as De Bruyne as example of Chelsea’s talent drain] I don’t know, honestly, what happened in the past. But for sure we are talking about a top player, the complete player. He’s good - technical, fast, and he works hard for his team. He is the complete player

2017 12 09 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte talks about playmaker Eden Hazard’s potential] I don’t think that Eden is at the peak of his career yet. I think he has a lot of improvement [to make]. It’s important for him to work, work, work in every training session to improve himself and then to have this kind of performance. You are only at the top when you win the Ballon d’Or the first time, when you win the Champions League or when you win the World Cup. At that moment, you are a great player

2018 03 17 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte heaped praise on Lionel Messi] When you have the opportunity to make a great compliment to Messi, it is right. It is right to recognise a super, super, super top player. He is able to score 60 goals every season. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to give him my compliment. We are talking about an extraordinary player - the best in the world

2018 11 17 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte on the ethos of Italian coaches] We Italian coaches have a great culture of work and when you join a new club you can’t change everything, you must try and do it very gradually. Each coach must be a good tailor and adapt their beliefs to the human material that they have at their disposal

: 2019 05 12 Luciano Spalletti insists neither he nor his team will be affected by speculation suggesting Antonio Conte is set for Inter Milan as they chase Champions League qualification

2019 05 30 Retrieve

[Inter Milan have parted company with manager Luciano Spalletti, with the path now clear for Antonio Conte to potentially take the reins at San Siro] FC Internazionale Milano can confirm that Luciano Spalletti is no longer head coach of the first team. The club wishes to thank Spalletti for his work and the results achieved together.

2019 05 31 Retrieve

[Inter Milan have confirmed the appointment of Antonio Conte as their new coach following the departure of Luciano Spalletti] Determined and ambitious, Antonio Conte is now beginning his Inter adventure. Right here before us, we have two entities with the same objective and outlook - that is to win. Head, heart and legs are the three words which sum up Conte’s career.

2019 05 31b Retrieve

[Inter Milan have confirmed the appointment of Antonio Conte as their new coach following the departure of Luciano Spalletti] A new chapter in my life is beginning, I’m really excited. Through my work, I’ll try to repay all of the trust that the president [Steven Zhang] and directors have placed in me. I have chosen Inter because of the club it is, because of the project’s sound basis and how ambitious it is. Because of Inter’s history. I was struck by the club’s transparency and the desire to bring Inter back to where it belongs.

2019 05 31c Retrieve

[Antonio Conte accepts some Inter Milan fans might object to his appointment as coach due to his Juventus background] Finally, it’s time to get back to it. I have many reasons to do so, perhaps even too many and just as many challenges are ahead of me. But I can’t wait. A club that’s not for everyone, with its fans who will be wondering, why me exactly? Because we share the same ambitions, fearlessness, hunger and determination. Now it’s my turn. I’m here, Inter Milan.

2019 05 31d Retrieve

[When quizzed on links to Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez] I think now it’s very difficult to talk about this. For sure, we have a plan to try to improve the team. But it will be very important for the players, it will be very important to have a great will and great ambition, me, the players and the club, to try to reduce this gap.

[Pressed further on Romelu Lukaku and whether Inter have met with the 26-year-old striker and his representatives] No, that’s not right. But I repeat in this moment there is a sporting director to talk about this and do this question about the transfer market, about the players. But I repeat, now we are very focused to do the first step and to work together

[When quizzed on Alexis Sanchez] Yeah, but you’re talking about the transfer market, you have to talk to the sporting director about this topic

[Asked if he has spoken with Mauro Icardi yet] No. I have just started to breathe. Every situation we will see and make the best decision with the club. You have to work hard together to make the best decision. The club is the most important thing

2019 06 01 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte is ready for a new challenge as he aims to get Inter Milan back to the highest level] For me, it’s a new experience, a new chapter in my life, a new challenge. This is what I live for and I’m really excited to begin this new chapter. Through my work, I’ll try to repay all of the trust that the club and directors have placed in me. This is a top club, one of the best in Italy and throughout the world - and the desire that the owners have to bring Inter back to where it belongs. This is a club that wants to return to being at the highest level in Italy, Europe and throughout the world.

2019 06 06 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte is eager to restore Inter Milan to their former glory after enjoying a trophy-laden past with rivals Juventus] I must work very hard. I need to work, it’s in my DNA. I can accept having only a little chance of winning at first, but that must change. We can win things, we have no limits

The presence of Marotta helped me join Inter because it was confirmation that they had very serious intentions. For eight seasons, they haven’t fought for first place. They want to change that, and I was struck by Steven Zhang’s determination. I know there are expectations placed on me, given the results I’ve achieved and the speed with which they came

2019 07 07 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says he found it easy to accept the role as Intermilan coach] It was easy to choose Inter. We found ourselves having the same vision and this was very important for me when I found myself talking to the manager and the president. We found ourselves sharing the same ambition, the same desire to build something important knowing that we will have to go through a path made of hard work, effort and sweat. The presence of director Giuseppe Marotta was certainly an incentive. He knows me well, he knows what my strengths and weaknesses are as I know his. I chose a club with great tradition, one of the most important in the world, it was easy to accept

I am a person who has no limits and I don’t want others to set themselves at the beginning of the season. In setting limits I would immediately give the team excuses and I don’t want this to happen. We know very well that in the last few years that a huge gap has been opened up for two teams, especially Juventus, but there is also Napoli, who have shown they can compete at a high level. We know that we are called to work harder than others to fill this gap, but we must start with the ambition to give everything we have and in the end we will see what happens.

We need to talk little and work hard. ‘Head down and ride’ should be our motto, we will have to be fierce and focused on our goal, which is to bring stability. If we want to have a season as challengers we must have these characteristics, we must work, sacrifice ourselves, question ourselves and every Sunday we will have to leave the field with a sweaty shirt. This is what I will demand from the players and I know they can do it

2019 07 12 Retrieve

[Outcasted by Antonio Conte, hated by fans - Mauro Icardi’s long, bitter divorce from Intermilan] The club had enough time to evaluate the situation. All I did was back the club’s vision. Coach and club should work as one and we are totally unified on this

2019 07 19 Retrieve

[Inter boss Antonio Conte has expressed his admiration for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku] You know very well I like this player [Lukaku]. Today Lukaku is a player of United and this is the reality. This is the truth. For sure it’s not easy to play without a striker at the beginning of the season like this. The market is still open

[Conte also hinted he would have preferred to have concluded Inter’s business at an earlier date] Of course it can be difficult for the team. I already spoke with the management. It’s not just about getting news players but reducing (the squad). I cannot hide that we’re a bit late

[Conte succeeded Luciano Spalletti in June and, when asked to address Mauro Icardi’s position at the club] He [Icardi] is out of Inter’s project. This is the reality in this moment.

2019 07 20 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says it is his ‘will and hope’ that Inter will sign Romelu Lukaku] He is a United player and for this reason we must show great respect for the club, for the player and also for my own players. Lukaku is a player that I like because I consider him a player that could improve our team. On one side is my will and my hope. On the other side we will see what we find with the club

[Conte, meanwhile, has suggested that midfielder Ivan Perisic does not fit into the system that he wants to play at Inter this season] We are working but the answers are not positive. I don’t think he is adapting to the role that I asked him to do. The only place he can play right now is as a striker. On the other hand, I saw Dalbert applying himself greatly in this match. We have to improve so much from all points of view. We have a lot of work to do and we will do it

2019 07 23 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte insists he never came close to making a dramatic return to Juventus before his appointment as Intermilan head coach] No, I have never been close to becoming Juventus coach again. I never received any phone call. It was always Inter that showed great affection and great interest in me. I feel great responsibility towards my new club and want to build something that at the moment is not there

[Asked is Sarri was the right man for the job] If Juve has taken this decision they will have had good reasons. It is not for me to judge

[Wednesday’s game in Nanjing will be the first time Conte has faced his former club since his departure and says there will be no love lost once the game kicks off] There will be excitement on my part. It is the first time I have met the Bianconeri as an opponent since my relationship with them ended. Seeing so many friends will be exciting but when the whistle goes it will all be over. Juve is an opponent for me and they consider me the same way.

2019 07 25 Retrieve

[Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte claimed the Nerazzurri’s new identity will soon become evident] I think there were improvements since the game against Manchester United [a 1-0 loss]. The important thing is that the intensity gets into the minds of the players. We need to play intense football and go to press the opposition. I have to consider myself very happy with the result, because I have a group of players who are working very hard. Having said that, we lost on penalties and we must always be irritated by defeat, even if it’s in a shoot-out for a friendly. I am starting to see glimpses of an identity and our way of taking to the field. We must continue along this path: head down, work hard. There is much to do

2019 07 27 Retrieve

[Paris Saint-Germain vs Intermilan. Head coach Antonio Conte, however, wants to see more from his team after they went down on penalties against Juventus, having taken the lead in a 1-1 draw] We must always be irritated by defeat. The important thing is that the intensity gets into the minds of the players. We need to play intense football and go to press the opposition. When we’ve got the ball, we try to propose our ideas. I am starting to see glimpses of an identity and our way of taking to the field. We must continue along this path: head down, work hard. There is much to do

2019 07 27b Retrieve

[Intermilan coach Antonio Conte has stated that he remains confident in the club’s ability to conduct business as speculation continues to swirl over a move for Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku] As I’ve always said, we’re talking about a player [Lukaku] who isn’t ours. Lukaku is a United player, we know that the transfer market is ongoing and the club is working to try and complete the squad, including both incomings and outgoings. As I’ve always said, I have a lot of confidence in the club. The most important thing for me at the moment is to stress that I’m happy with how my players are working. We’re working to create something solid. It’s inevitable that we’ll then go on to complete the squad, but the important thing is that those who arrive integrate well and possess the mentality that this group of lads have

[In the absence of Lukaku’s prospective arrival, Samuele Longo benefited for the Italian outfit] We’re talking about a player who has a decent career behind him. He was in Spain, where he played for Espanyol. He then played in a number of leagues and was successful in Serie B. He’s taking part in this tour with us and has joined up with the group. We’re talking about a really good footballer. He’s made an excellent impression and is putting in a lot of effort. I’m very happy for him because he’s had a long time out with injury and now he’s ready to play

2019 08 04 Retrieve

[Intermilan boss Antonio Conte is holding out hope of a deal for Romelu Lukaku after Manchester United reportedly ended talks over a possible swap deal with Juventus involving Paulo Dybala] We’re continuing to work in the best possible way. I understand there are some gaps to fill but, at the moment, I’m very hopeful. At the same time, I’m working with a big group of players who I’m very satisfied with. I honestly don’t know how it will end. I’m reading about the swap in the newspapers. Lukaku is a good player, a striker I tried to buy when I was the coach at Chelsea. We’re talking about two big clubs in Juventus and Inter, but I honestly don’t know how it will end

: 2019 08 08 Romelu Lukaku has completed an €80 million move to Intermilan from Manchester United, putting an end to a summer saga that sees the striker join forces with long-time admirer Antonio Conte.

2019 08 11 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte is sure Romelu Lukaku will be an excellent signing for Intermilan] He also needs to work hard, both from a physical point of view and to get used to the way we’re trying to go about things. He’ll certainly be an excellent signing, we’re really happy. He’ll show great desire and commitment to get himself ready

[Without Lukaku, Intermilan claimed a penalty shoot-out win over Valencia after a 1-1 draw in the Trofeo Naranja on Saturday. Conte, in his first season at the helm, believes the Belgium international will prove to be a great addition for Intermilan] was a difficult and important match against an excellent side who have had the same coach for a long time. Last season, they won the Copa del Rey against Barcelona, for example. The lads’ performance was positive, because they once again displayed a desire to not give up, they didn’t want to come out of the match defeated. This is a very positive thing in terms of our mentality. I said to them that they could do better, but we are working hard to improve. They’re a bit tired because they are working from both a tactical and physical point of view in order to get up to speed. Tonight was another step forward in our development

2019 08 12 Retrieve

[Conte said in July on the back of a 1-0 International Champions Cup defeat to Manchester United] We’re working with him, but his response isn’t positive. Perisic can’t play in the role that I want. Therefore, he can only play as a striker right now.

2019 08 25 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says there is a clear gap between his new club Inter and last season’s top two in Serie A, Juventus and Napoli] The run-up has begun. We’re working in the right way, we want to build something significant. Now we have to see if it is a run-up that launches us or if we have to take smaller steps toward the summit. There is a gap with some other teams, but we don’t want to limit ourselves, and I don’t want to create any excuses for my players. I don’t know what we’ll be fighting for, but I know that we have to work harder than others. Has the transfer window closed the gap with Juventus and Napoli? Only time will tell. Beyond the window, we need to build a solid base. Juve and Napoli have done significant things in the market, but so have we. If we have achieved this goal, we will have done enough

I have very high expectations, I set them myself. I need this pressure and I try to transfer it to my players. I am not looking for sympathy. I’m here for better or for worse, and when I join I cause I do it totally. I am happy that the stadium will be full, we can feel the enthusiasm around us, we will have to show that we deserve it. I’m happy with the path I have taken so far. In my players I found men rather than football players. The bulk of the work was done, now we have to work on the details. Lukaku arrived full of enthusiasm, he made himself totally available, he is working hard. Clearly he arrived here not at his best, but he has great potential from any point of view

2019 08 26 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has denied Mauro Icardi is causing a disturbance within the squad, but he is not expected to use the striker on Monday] I have great respect for everyone, but I don’t feel any disturbance. We are working hard, we know full well what approach has been taken with the player, but it is not causing any disturbance for me

2019 08 26b Retrieve

[Intermilan (4) vs (0) Lecce. Antonio Conte described Romelu Lukaku as a gentle giant after Intermilan’s record signing got off the mark on his Serie A debut] Lukaku stepped into the Inter world in the best possible way, with great humility. He is a gentle giant, he always has a smile on his face. He is ready to work for the team and is at the disposal of his team-mates. I also want to highlight that Lautaro Martinez also played very well and everyone deserves praise. It was only the first game, so we can celebrate until midnight, but from tomorrow we have to start thinking about the next match with Cagliari

[Perfectionist Conte still feels his side have plenty of room for improvement] We started with the right intensity and respected the idea of football that I wanted. However, I did not appreciate at all the minutes after we went 2-0 up and I told the lads that. I wanted us to immediately get back on it and not be distracted, or think it was over. It was a good performance and you can see the ideas there. It’s an excellent result, because Lecce are a good team and there is always the risk of stumbling in these fixtures. We didn’t want that for us or our fans. We have some more steps to take, such as improving the mental consistency and focus, but I am very satisfied and it is a pleasure to work with these lads. This version of 3-5-2 is certainly a more attacking evolution of the old 4-2-4. I think that I have the men suited to this type of system and midfielders ready to push forward. We must not be a spark, we have to become dynamite

2019 08 27 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says Intermilan star Romelu Lukaku is yet to show his full potential] Let’s not forget he is only 26, he’s got a potential we can work on a lot; I believe that despite the fact he arrived late, we tried to work and he made himself available with great effort. Today already Romelu showed what kind of a player he is. And why the club insisted on getting this kind of player. But I am very happy, I knew him as a player, but from a human perspective, I didn’t know him. It was a pleasing discovery. He really integrated into the team with humility, he made himself available to the team-mates, and everybody loves him. He’s just 26, has margins for improvement, he’s got to work. He must take advantage even more of the skills he has, because in my opinion he’s got skills that he hasn’t shown yet, he hasn’t shown everything yet, in his football career

Let’s not forget Lukaku cost €65 million to be paid over five years, so when people talk about big money spent, it wasn’t even that much. Tonight, Lukaku showed why we tried so hard to sign him

2019 08 31 Retrieve

[Conte’s Intermilan a dream move for Alexis Sanchez after Man Utd nightmare] Alexis is such a professional and he comes in working every single day really hard. There have been these stories that he’s been put in the reserves, but of course he hasn’t. He’s a part of our squad and a very, very good player

[There were also rumours that Alexis was on his way to Conte’s Chelsea in January 2018, after a mysterious conversation between the pair in the middle of the Blues’ Carabao Cup meeting with Arsenal] He is a great player and he knows that in my first season at Juventus (2011-12) we tried to buy him, but he decided to move to Barcelona. When we saw each other [during the Chelsea-Arsenal game], we didn’t talk about transfers, just other more personal things. I know his future lies in a big club

2019 09 01 Retrieve

[Cagliari (1) vs (2) Intermilan. Head coach Antonio Conte claimed not to hear racist chants, but said Italy has to improve in how fans treat opposition players] I can’t comment on the episode because I did not hear it. Having said that, we need to improve a great deal in Italy and be more respectful to people who are working, in general. When I was working abroad, the fans would cheer on their own team, not spend their entire time insulting the opponent

2019 09 02 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte welcomes ‘peaceful close’ to transfer window despite Icardi situation] The market comes to a peaceful close as we all know that we’re sorted in terms of arrivals and departures this window. I’m happy with the squad, but we obviously know it can be improved. Through hard work they can all be improved

[Conte selected one Inter player for special praise as a result of his performance on Sunday] Stefano Sensi is a player who simply sees and understands football, he gets it right away. He was a little quiet in the first half but then in the second he really took a hold of the game, it was extraordinary. We have a whole host of great attackers, we need to bring everyone to their best possible form. I expect a lot from everyone. From Matias Vecino, from Roberto Gagliardini, they all have great potential, Nicolo Barella too is a complete player. Where can he play? On the inside, on the left, or on the right

2019 09 13 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has pledged Inter will help Alexis Sanchez recapture his best form] Sanchez is a strong player, he has shown in the past the quality that he possesses. We need to help him recapture the form that he lost at Manchester United. He has to adapt to our game and that is what he is doing

[Sanchez will at least have a familiar face at Inter in the form of another ex-United player, striker Romelu Lukaku] He has entered the world of Inter with great humility and has shown a real willingness. The rest of the group understood that immediately and have welcomed him in the best possible way. He has great qualities as a human and is a true team player. His fitness has improved. We hope he scores as many goals as possible for the team - he has always scored goals

[Inter have two wins from two since Conte arrived at San Siro] An important foundation is being built irrespective of results. Enthusiasm shouldn’t depend on the results we achieve but the way we obtain them. It should depend on what the team manage to transmit to the fans. With today’s Inter, you can see that there’s a team and club with clear ideas. We’re trying to work to find a clearly defined tactical identity on a daily basis: when those who have played less up to this point come into the team, they’ll know exactly what they have to do. We are the team that have undergone the most change. It is inevitable that there will be a period of adjustment, but we want to turn the question marks around us into exclamation marks

2019 09 15 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has called on Inter to be more clinical after they only managed a 1-0 victory over 10-man Udinese on Saturday] I congratulated the lads because it was a very difficult match against a strong team and these three points are important. We deserved them but must also recognise Udinese did well to stay in the game until the end. We should’ve been more clinical and finished it off earlier, but instead we were always just hanging on. We know we have to fight. I read too much rubbish in the papers. We must go our own way without thinking about anything or anyone else. The truth is nothing is easy and we will never take anything for granted. I had warned the players that Udinese would take a very defensive approach and we had to be careful on counter-attacks. We’ve got to start moves from the back and we achieved that against a team that will cause problems for many opponents this season. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, we have a lot of work to do and won’t get caught up in the euphoria, we are laying the groundwork. We want to be a tough team

2019 09 15b Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has urged his players to forget about the hype designating them as Juventus’ chief rivals for Serie A glory this season] We are growing and I’m happy about our maturation. But I also know that now you talk about us so you can beat us when something goes wrong. Today we talk about Inter as Juventus’ main rivals. I know the game and it is what it is. But we have to keep our feet on the ground. Let others talk, we must shut up and work

[Sarri, who took to the touchline for the first time since a bout of pneumonia, partly attributed the frustrating result to the energy sapping conditions and suggested a later kick-off would have made a difference] I won’t say anything because otherwise I would have to bring out the budgets, the turnover and the balance sheets. I will only say that someone now on the side of the strongest team should be calm and comfortable

2019 09 18 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has called for patience from fans as he implements his coaching style with the Nerazzurri, after the Italian side struggled to a 1-1 draw against Slavia Prague in their Champions League group stage opener] Slavia beat us in terms of intensity, determination, pace. We showed nothing of our ideas of football. You seem to think I arrive here, touch and the ducklings turn into swans. There’s a lot of work to do and we need to improve. That was not our football. When I say we shouldn’t let ourselves get swept up in enthusiasm, I mean it. I am here to help these lads improve, so put the blame on me.

I refuse to talk about individuals, because we were all below par today, starting from me. I am the first onto the naughty step, the main dunce. I generally hate the long ball and run routine, as that is not our football, but that’s what we largely did today. It wasn’t the plan. Slavia certainly played in a very European way, aggressive and with intensity. We didn’t do well to find solutions and get around that. In other games, we were up against sides who sat back and waited for us, whereas Slavia attacked us. We struggled and, to be honest, I am not satisfied with the performance. I must be the first to take responsibility, because evidently I didn’t have the effect I wanted in my initial choices or in explaining the kind of match we were going into. We could’ve done far better. This is not the kind of football we are training to play. We’ve got to improve in terms of character, too. But when I talk about a growth process, that comes from playing in games like this as well

2019 09 20 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte believes Italian football’s hate culture has worsened since he returned to Serie A] I came back after three years and found everything worse. A lot of hatred, resentment. It is only to insult and foment hatred. This is very bad. This exists in Italy and is getting worse and worse. I had the luck to have an experience in England, where they throw them [supporters] in jail and throw away the keys, they don’t come to the stadium anymore. We need to improve. That’s why in England you see families at the stadium. I repeat: we have to improve everyone

[Conte also took a swipe at the media and claimed they perpetuate the problem to a large degree by stoking up rivalries] I found an Italy worsened to the nth degree and we are all guilty. Including you [the media] who are sitting there. We are not exempt. It is easy to make articles after something has happened and to put yourself on the side of reason. They are articles that foster lack of respect. We will all have to do an examination of conscience. I repeat: I had been absent for three years, I found something multiplied many times.

I think it is anti-educational towards the generations that are coming because they are born in front of the keyboard reading hate and violence. The solution would be to send positive messages. Do not stir up violence and accentuate the rivalry. I think that communication has a very important role in this because the reader can read hatred or positive things and can continue on a certain wave

2019 09 21 Retrieve

[Conte believes there is still much more for Lukaku to give, and he felt Intermilan’s European struggles drove his team on] He is 26 years old and arrived here thanks to his potential. If we work with him properly, he can become extremely important. He can give even more and I told him that too. Marcelo Brozovic and Lukaku are exceptional lads and if anything, I get cross with them because they are too nice. They need to be more clinical on the pitch. Quarrels mean there is blood in the veins and a desire to improve. I’ve been a player, I’ve argued with team-mates many times and then gone out to dinner with them afterwards. It’s not a big deal and they enjoy being together

We were coming off a performance in the Champions League that left a bitter taste in the mouth and fired us up even more to go into the derby in the right way. The lads played a good game in every aspect. It’s a deserved victory, I am happy for our fans, because derbies are special games and never easy to win. I am happy with our Serie A start, less so in the Champions League, but I do also believe that setback can help bring us back on to the right path. A commander can have his plans, but he needs the foot soldiers to go out and execute the orders, so I am fortunate to have very good, disciplined players

2019 09 24 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says Alexis Sanchez is still not ready to start for Intermilan] For him it is worth the words I give for everyone else. When I see ready players, they will be inserted [into the XI]. I have to work in the interest of Inter, not of individuals

[Conte tried to take Lukaku to Chelsea earlier in his career, but the Italian opted against adding to his previous praise for the striker] Of Lukaku, I have said far and wide what I think, it seems to me superfluous to repeat it again. For the midfielders, on the other hand, I am happy: beyond those who score, the more arrows we have available to our bow, the better. But even in the past, this is a department that has always played a fairly important and decisive role in my teams. When you start a new project, the hope is that it is long and lasting. The more you stay in a club, the more it means that your ideas are being assimilated. Surely for a coach to stay long is the best thing. I’ve never been able to coach the same team for more than three years, and change means starting from scratch. It’s not easy, because you have to find people who can support you in every context

2019 09 26 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte set a new club record as he became the first Inter coach to win his first five Serie A games at the helm after overseeing a 1-0 victory against Lazio] It was a tough, important victory against a very strong side, who have been working together for four years and have done nothing but strengthen in recent seasons. It was by no means an easy win to get.

[The Nerazzurri improved after the break and went close through Nicolo Barella and Matteo Politano. Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi brought on Ciro Immobile in an attempt to get back in the game but could not find a way through, as Inter held on for a hard-earned victory] When analysing the game you have to split it into two parts. I wasn’t happy in the first half, we started aggressively, we looked to stay high and they tried to hurt us on the break. Then after the goal we sat back too much, allowing Lazio to come onto us and Handanovic was excellent in that period, he made the difference. However, the team showed great character in the second half, we dominated and made sure of our success. All that was missing was the goal to kill the game off, we should have done better with our chances in the second half. Five wins in a row is no coincidence, we still have to grow a lot more but we’re getting the right mentality

2019 09 27 Retrieve

[Inter head coach Antonio Conte says the club are working hard to help Alexis Sanchez rediscover his golden touch] It is up to us to help him find the form and the brilliance he has lost a little. Alexis is a footballer who has certain characteristics. He is a tough player, and sooner or later you will see him on the pitch. Each of us has room for improvement. For some it will be a path that is more simple; for others more complex. We have room for improvement in everything and my job is to try to improve the players in all aspects. I am always very cautious; we need to improve in everything and do not think that it comes with the magic wand and everything improves

[Unbeaten Intermilan are top of Serie A having chalked up five straight victories] We’ve got five in a row and it’s important, but we’re just getting started. We must continue with the same desire, trying to improve ourselves. If you want to be a protagonist and become a big and strong team, you need points, stability, certainties. We are trying to improve in this respect. We are not the first to win the first five games. This group was leader of the league two years ago and ended up in the Champions League only on the final day. Even with (Roberto) Mancini, it was like that. Good horses are only seen on arrival

2019 09 28 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte speaks on Alexis Sanchez] It is up to us to help Alexis Sanchez find the form and the brilliance he has lost a little. Alexis is a footballer who has certain characteristics. He is a tough player, and sooner or later you will see him on the pitch. Each of us has room for improvement. For some it will be a path that is more

2019 09 29 Retrieve

[Inter head coach Antonio Conte urged his players to take the intensity of their performances in Serie A into crunch games with Barcelona and Juventus] We need to recover our energy to make an intense match so we can make it difficult for Barca. I do not have to tell you the opposition teams we are playing. If you want to put Barcelona in difficulty, you have to play an intense game but at the same time you have to be good at limiting and not letting them play, otherwise it becomes a problem. You also have to be good at dribbling and building. This beginning in the league is the result of so much work and a lot of willingness on the part of the boys

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[Blow for Intermilan as injured Lukaku ruled out of Barcelona clash] Lukaku isn’t here, he had a slight muscular issue in the quadricep that he has been carrying for 10 days. He was continuing to feel the problem and the tests were negative, but we preferred in any case not to risk him. We have to rely on how the player feels in these cases

[The new Nerazzurri coach welcomes former club Juventus to Milan at the weekend in a match that already looks likely to have implications in the Scudetto race] It’s not a tear, so we are fairly relaxed and will focus on that only after tomorrow’s game with Barcelona

2019 10 02 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte will rue the absence of Lukaku, who has enjoyed a bright start to the Serie A season] Lukaku isn’t here, he had a slight muscular issue in the quadricep that he has been carrying for 10 days. He was continuing to feel the problem and the tests were negative, but we preferred in any case not to risk him. We have to rely on how the player feels in these cases

2019 10 02b Retrieve

[Conte blasts referee for lack of ‘respect’ towards Intermilan players in Barcelona defeat] We deserved more. I am bitter because I have seen some situations that I did not like. There were things that I did not like from the beginning, but I don’t want to talk about that. On the bench we had some feelings I did not like. What did the referee tell me? Nothing, he came to warn me and he said he would send me off at the next opportunity. Referees have on their shirt the word ‘respect’ and it is the only thing I have asked. They must respect those who come here to try to do better than the other team. Respect must be mutual. I take away a feeling of bitterness, we are talking about a referee who led a Champions League final, a top referee who should not be influenced by Camp Nou. However I don’t want to give the team any excuses, I’m talking about a personal feeling I had from the beginning

[Inter certainly could have used someone like Messi in attack with Conte left to rue his side’s lack of cutting edge] Maybe we had to be better at capitalising on the opportunities we created, because we put a team like Barcelona in serious trouble. In the second half they certainly pushed more, I think that for some of our players physical energy has dropped … it is the sixth game in a few days. Today’s defeat has been undeserved, we lick our wounds and we know we have to work to be stronger

2019 10 07 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte believes star striker Romelu Lukaku must train more to be in great shape due to his physique] Romelu is definitely a player that must train more, because being a player with a massive body he needs to train, to play, to be in great shape. In this beginning of the season he had this back issue, now he’s been dealing with this other quadricep issue since the game against Lazio. But I think he gave everything, it’s inevitable that against Barcelona we didn’t have Lukaku and it was important to have him. And we didn’t have him. However, Romelu as well was very committed today, he tried to do his best, and now let’s hope he can leave these little issues behind him and be at his 100 per cent

[Lukaku has scored three goals for Inter since arriving from United and has quickly struck up a strong relationship with Conte] My relationship with Conte is very strong. He is a coach who really helps me. At the age of 26, I want a coach like this, who motivates and helps me every day. I am very happy to be here and to be working with him

2019 10 07b Retrieve

[Antonio Conte insisted Intermilan could not be compared to Juventus after a 2-1 loss in the Derby d’Italia on Sunday] We could certainly have done a lot better, even in the two goals we conceded in Barcelona [in the Champions League] we could have done a lot better. I repeat that this is a path of growth with young people who are working hard at the level of experience and of all the situations at the moment. We need to work and there are no shortcuts. We must not compare ourselves to Juventus, they are of another category from all points of view. We started working to reduce an important gap.

[Asked about the performances of his front two of Martinez and Romelu Lukaku, Conte felt the duo could have done more] Surely in the finalisation, we could do something better, but the team arrived, it produced. The statistics speak of a very balanced challenge, although the two teams are not on paper

2019 10 19 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says Intermilan do not need to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic to challenge in the Champions League and close the gap on Juventus in Serie A] I do not talk about players that are not mine. It would not be respectful. I have respect for Ibra of course, he is a quality player. He has made history in this game. I respect him and rate him but it is not right to talk of others, also because I have lots of faith in my players and I have so much respect for my squad. We will get better and keep improving. From these setbacks against Juve and Barca we must come back stronger. We need to keep being consistent, we need consistency in displays and training, we must improve every day, this is what I want. If we do this we will take the next step. In every match there are areas to work on. We always analyse the good and the bad. We have highlighted areas to work on. I cannot expect miracles

[Alexis Sanchez had started promisingly for Inter since arriving on loan from Manchester United, but is now expected to miss up to three months after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury sustained while on international duty with Chile] I am upset to lose Alexis Sanchez. We are all disappointed. He is a player we thought was back to his best. He was doing well and I was pleased. Now he is injured, it is a real shame also for him. He arrived full of enthusiasm and was doing well. He was showing he is the Sanchez of old. However, he is now injured and that is part of the game, I had lots of injuries as a player, but each time you come back stronger

2019 10 22 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte laughed off a reporter who gave the Intermilan coach a tactical suggestion ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund] Thanks for your advice. If you want I’ll give you some advice for an article. Since you’re getting into coaching, my line of work, I’d like to give you some advice on yours. Lazaro could not play there in a 3-4-2-1. We signed him from Hertha, a mid-table team and we have to factor in that players can struggle when they join a big team. We must have patience and confidence in him and I have

[While Dortmund may pose more of a threat than Sassuolo, Conte hopes his side can continue to improve] Beyond the results, I want to see improvements. We know we must try to win this game. At the same time we know we face a strong opponent. We must give our all without having regrets in a serene and concentrated way. It will be important to approach the match well but also to manage the game. It’s important to manage all phases of the game, we just have to look at what happened against Sassuolo, especially in games like this where with the slightest error they will punish you

2019 10 24 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte claimed Borussia Dortmund feared his team following their 2-0 Champions League victory on Wednesday] Borussia Dortmund changed their system to five at the back, which means they were afraid of us and wanted to play by changing their approach to mirror ours. We had prepared for a very different match, but did well to adjust. When Dortmund switched back to 4-2-3-1 after the break, we adjusted again and took control.

We had prepared to press them in certain areas of the pitch and they changed their system, so that was no longer valid. The most important thing I told the lads was not to lose possession in central areas, as that is where they push forward on the counter. Roberto Gagliardini, Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic did a great job both in defending and attacking. I often tell Brozo off for attacking too much, but he had a great game tonight with both phases. Barella is so generous and passionate, but he does give me anxiety attacks when he gets booked after 10-15 minutes

It’s tough against Borussia Dortmund, who are a very good team. It’s still difficult to qualify, but we know that we’re alive and kicking. It is not a simple situation. The lads did well and dealing with a series of injuries, we still put in a great performance. I am happy above all for the players, as these nights reward them for their sacrifices. I told the team that they worked so hard with Luciano Spalletti to qualify for the Champions League, so it was important we give our all to keep that dream going. We’re not the favourites in this group, but we had to win to stay in the running and we did it. Now we’ve got Parma coming up, not even three days away, so we need to be very wary, as Saturday is the toughest game and not tonight

2019 10 25 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte is reluctant to compare Marcelo Brozovic to Italy great Andrea Pirlo but believes the Inter midfielder has world-class potential] Brozo can get better. He can get better with his passes to the attack, he can set up more goals. We are working on this. I think he needs to also work on his defensive game. A holding midfielder must be good in defence too. He can become world class. As for Pirlo, I do not want to make a comparison with Brozo. Pirlo is someone who is a genius. He made history in this game. Brozo has different traits, he is training well and I am pleased with him. I want him to become a world-class player

[When asked whether Inter’s unexpectedly close proximity to Juventus was bringing extra pressure] We have started on our journey, we need to focus on ourselves. Inter cannot worry about the others, we need to look ahead. This is a new cycle for us. It is not easy. We are close to the league leaders. That is very satisfying, but let’s stay focused. Each game is a test of our ambitions. We need to give our all. That is the only way to get three points

We have started a new journey together. These things take time and patience. We are on the right track, let us continue this way. Then we will see where we are at the end of the season. As I have said, we always need to give 100 per cent. I want us to have no regrets come the final whistle

2019 11 01 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte is not concerned about speculation linking Lautaro Martinez with Barcelona and has challenged the Inter forward to take his game to the next level] We look to the present to build the future. He is working well and has made good progress. He can still make further progress because he is still only 22 years old. He has to continue to work hard. Much of the transfer talk comes from that and it cannot be seen as a problem at this moment - there are bigger concerns. He must try to be more selfish when he has a chance to score. It’s all part of his growth process. I want to improve all of my players

[Amid talk that Intermilan are looking to bring in a new right-sided player, Conte has vowed to give Valentino Lazaro a chance to justify his price tag] He has been used seven times this season and for his national side he is very promising. At Hertha there is less pressure than he has found in Milan. He is working hard and we will give him the opportunities to start games. It was a big investment for him

[The Bianconeri’s period of dominance started with Conte at the helm, but the Italian coach has played down comparisons between his first seasons at Juve and his early work at Intermilan] There is an important difference - we did not have cup competitions in the first year at Juve. We could dedicate ourselves, heart and soul, to the league. We played in the league, and then the league again. It is not the same thing here - the expenditure is very high. One thing that I am sure of, here we also have to play a thousand miles per hour. If we take our foot off the accelerator, it will be difficult to win games. We must sweat for the victory. That is beyond doubt and must be clear to all the players

2019 11 03 Retrieve

[Conte singled out his strike force of Martinez and Romelu Lukaku for praise - backing up Marotta’s assertion that the Argentine won’t be allowed to move on anytime soon] Potentially they can be the Inter partnership for another 10 years. I had studied Lautaro a little before coming here. He is a centre-forward, but at the same time also a second striker, so he’s atypical. Lukaku is an unusual striker too, because he has this physicality of a centre-forward, but if you give him space to run into, he is devastatingly fast. Above all I’m happy with the work they are both doing off the ball. What makes me happy is working with a group of great lads who give everything and today they didn’t let their heads drop or negative thinking to set in. The lads showed great inner strength to fight back and turn it around. We can be proud of what we’re achieving this season

2019 11 05 Retrieve

[Inter boss Anotnio Conte had strong words for the Hellas Verona supporters who racially abused Brescia striker Mario Balotelli in Sunday’s Serie A clash] I was not in the stadium, but I believe it is necessary to be very strict and inflexible. We must punish these ignorant people. The morons must be punished. It is absurd that, in 2019, we are still faced with things like this

[Conte believes Barca are assured of a place in the knockout stages] It’s an important match as we are on equal points. Barcelona have already guaranteed their place. We were good when we beat [Dortmund] at home and we know the difficulties we will face tomorrow. We face a strong and proven club, who have been in the Champions League for many years. The environment will be hot and electric; we know what motivation Dortmund fans can give to their players. It will be important for us to play with personality. We want to play offensively everywhere. If it is a defensive game, it will be only because Dortmund have forced us to do it. Our mentality is to always hurt the opponent. We always want to attack

2019 11 05b Retrieve

[Antonio Conte having moved to rule his side out of the running to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to Europe from MLS] I have respect for Ibra, of course, he is a quality player. He has made history in this game. I respect him and rate him but it is not right to talk of others, also because I have lots of faith in my players and I have so much respect for my squad. We will get better and keep improving.

He is a player we thought was back to his best. He was doing well and I was pleased. Now he is injured, it is a real shame also for him. He arrived full of enthusiasm and was doing well. He was showing he is the Sanchez of old. However, he is now injured and that is part of the game, I had lots of injuries as a player, but each time you come back stronger

2019 11 05c Retrieve

[Inter manager Antonio Conte has slammed how the club has set up to deal with a hectic schedule after seeing his side lose 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League] Big mistakes were made in planning this season. I am fed up of saying it. I don’t care about January or February. We should’ve planned this season out much, much better. We proved that we can trouble anyone if we are on form, but there are players who have played non-stop. I am fed up of saying it. You can take your conclusions from a second half like that. It’s not about the club, it’s that we have to work together and big mistakes were made. We cannot play in Serie A and the Champions League constantly pushed to the limits. I am really p**sed off, because we cannot do more than this. We’ve reached the limit

[So annoyed, Conte was reluctant to even discuss his side’s defeat, stressing his players did all they could under the circumstances] I don’t feel like even commenting on the second half, as there are too many alibis and I don’t want to create any more. I just hope this type of match clarifies things for those who need to understand. The lads are going at 100km/h and I can only thank them for all they are doing during this period. They cannot give more than this. It irritates me and I hope that this defeat irritates my players too. We can do no more than to work and that’s what we’re doing. I am just fed up of saying the same things over and over, I hope a director comes here and says things instead

2019 11 16 Retrieve

[Inter confirm Conte threats after alerting authorities to letter] In relation to the news published today, Antonio Conte has not personally received any threatening letter. Consequently, he did not go in person to file a complaint. It was the club that received a letter and, as per the practice in this kind of situation, proceeded to contact the competent authorities

2019 11 22 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has bizarrely offered advice to his players when it comes to their performance in the bedroom] I advise my players to have sex for short periods, with the minimum of effort and use positions where they are under their partners and preferably with their wives. Because then you don’t have to be exceptional

As soon as I get to work, I demand seriousness, then I set rules and limits to give direction. We are all very good when it comes to talking about rules, but how many have the strength and the desire to enforce them when the problems arrive? Many look away to avoid issues. I’m not like that. Anyway, you can be whoever you want. If you’ve had a great football career, a player will evaluate you, weigh you up and in just two weeks they’ll say: ‘this is a top coach, this isn’t a top coach or this is an average one’

[On the formations he uses] It depends mainly on the players I have available. In Serie B, I played with a 4-2-4. I tried to use this tactic at Juve but I quickly went to 3-5-2 or 3-3-4, depending on the interpretation. This approach was unique. My staff and I have always been an example to others. Moreover, before I arrived in the Premier League playing with three centre-backs was taboo. I started with a four-man defence and lost 3-0 to Arsenal [24 September, 2016]. I then changed because I had players who needed to be protected

[Conte also felt compelled to defend his position as Intermilan boss having been a Juventus player and manager in the past] One last thing about taking over at Inter as a former Bianconero: I think of myself as an honest and loyal person on all points, I believe in work, effort, sacrifice. I do not change my personality, I’m not an ass licker, I do not play the violin. I try to make myself appreciated for all that, but if you prefer to fan the fire rather than take me as a positive example […] I got to where I am by myself and I do not have to thank anyone except my parents. I am a free spirit

2019 11 24 Retrieve

[Inter boss Antonio Conte was praying for good news on the fitness of Nicolo Barella after the midfielder’s knee injury was the lone negative in an impressive 3-0 Serie A win at Torino] I really hope Barella doesn’t have anything particularly serious. Barella has grown exponentially over the last four months. He is a very important player for us and we can only hope the test results are not too bad. He’s a warrior and I hope he’s back on the pitch soon. The emergency situation unfortunately continues but we can only thank our players for all their efforts, and we will continue to give more than our best. The players are really sacrificing themselves and can see the fruits of their labour. They have spent hours on the pitch and in the video room

[Rather than revisiting that topic, it was Inter’s clean sheet that he discussed after the convincing victory] I’m especially happy for the players who are getting big results, but the thing that makes me happiest is not conceding. It was a good defensive performance and that is very important because we know that if we can be tight at the back then we are in good shape as we will score sooner or later

2019 12 01 Retrieve

[Conte proud of ‘annoying’ Intermilan’s journey to top spot in Serie A] We’ve been working since day one to make an impact and annoy the other teams. Being back on top of the table after 14 rounds makes us proud, because we know the journey we’ve been through to get here. At the same time, it should give us positive enthusiasm, push us to do even better and control the game without suffering to the end the way we did, because in those circumstances a cross or deflected shot can change everything. We were determined and knew Juventus had dropped points, so we were prepared to make the most of the situation. We deserved to beat SPAL and it’s important to remember we are focused on our own growth process, which is in full swing, so we’re not trying to compare ourselves with others

Lautaro - we call him Lauty - lives for goals, but I was very clear with him that the top strikers are the ones who work for the team. The ones who track back in defence and seek each other out. Romelu Lukaku, for instance, didn’t score today, but he was constantly involved

2019 12 05 Retrieve

[Inter boss Conte confirms he turned down AS Roma job] With Francesco, there is a long-standing friendship. He explained the situation to me and told me about the possibility of Roma. I made an assessment in a very calm manner and thought it was not the right time. At that moment, however, an offer from Inter was not there. There were no other teams. I made my evaluation and I decided to decline the proposal in a very respectful manner. I know it’s a huge club, but it wasn’t the time. Maybe in the future

[Conte has been impressed by the job Fonseca has done at Roma] He is demonstrating his qualities after his time in Ukraine [with Shakhtar Donetsk]. Here, you have to settle in, your opponents study you and prepare very well to stop you. He brought an idea and also used it in Serie A. Roma deserve compliments. They have a competitive squad made up of experienced players and very good talents. They are in a great moment of form. Roma have a maturity, strength and knowledge which will force us to show them respect

2019 12 06 Retrieve

[The Conte effect: ‘The Messi of coaches’ has put Inter back on top of Serie A] One last thing about taking over at Inter as a former Bianconero: I think of myself as an honest and loyal person on all points, I believe in work, effort, sacrifice. I do not change my personality, I’m not an ass-licker, I do not play the violin. I try to make myself appreciated for all that, but if you prefer to fan the fire rather than take me as a positive example […] I got to where I am by myself and I do not have to thank anyone except my parents. I am a free spirit

[Having seen his side let leads slip as they lost to both Borussia Dortmund and the Catalans] Big mistakes were made in planning this season. I am fed up of saying it. I don’t care about January or February. We should’ve planned this season out much, much better. We proved that we can trouble anyone if we are on form, but there are players who have played non-stop. We cannot play in Serie A and the Champions League constantly pushed to the limits. I am really p*ssed off, because we cannot do more than this. We’ve reached the limit. I just hope this type of match clarifies things for those who need to understand. The lads are going at 100km/h and I can only thank them for all they are doing during this period. They cannot give more than this. I am just fed up of saying the same things over and over. I hope a director comes here and says things instead

[On the eve of Friday’s massive meeting with AS Roma, Conte also signalled an end to the complaining] There are still four games left of this period, we will do it with our chests out, knowing what our strengths and weaknesses are. No time to cry and hide. We must do our bestsimple; for others more complex

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Conte angry at boos from Intermilan fans after AS Roma stalemate] The fans must support us and help us, as they are doing, because it is a moment where we must make a virtue of their support. I was sorry to hear a few whistles after wrong passages [of play]. This is not good, we need everyone. They must support us and they must not whistle at the first mistake. It is not easy to play at the San Siro, many of the boys are young, everyone needs help. I wanted to say this because I always want to protect the group. We must not become presumptuous, these kids must always be supported

[Instead of criticising his all-star forward line, Conte chose instead to credit Roma’s stand-in goalkeeper Antonio Mirante] Yes [Lukaku and Martinez made mistakes], even if we also have to take into account Mirante’s great game, which was the best on the field. When we win, we draw and we lose, we do it all together. The midfielders also had the opportunity to score, not just the forwards. In the second half there was a good opportunity for Matias Vecino that Mirante deflected for a corner

2019 12 11 Retrieve

[Conte admits Intermilan had chances to beat Barcelona before Ansu Fati ‘killed’ Champions League hopes] We had the chances to win the game, we created those opportunities, but lacked that clinical edge to convert them. I have no complaints to make, as my players gave their all. We just lacked a goal and instead conceded at the other end to go 2-1 down, which really killed us. Watching that Ansu Fati goal is painful, as it killed us in every way. We were pushing, creating the chances to score and go 2-1 up. I was also disappointed for the fans in San Siro, as they pushed us from start to finish and created a wonderful atmosphere. It should’ve ended differently. I think we deserved more in this group. Still, I think it’s all valuable experience. We wanted to qualify, so there is disappointment from everyone right now, but as I told them, we have to raise our heads again

We are sad, but we have no regrets because we did everything we possibly could in order to qualify. There’s no point looking back now. We have to focus on the future and the games we have coming up. Difficulties should make us stronger, but obviously for now it’s a fresh wound

2020 01 07 Retrieve

[Sacking Antonio Conte cost Chelsea £26m as Blues reveal full price of coaching change] Exceptional items in the current year of £26.6million relate to changes in respect of the men’s team management and coaching staff, together with associated legal costs

2020 01 10 Retrieve

[Conte reveals he tried to sign Ibrahimovic for Chelsea] First of all, I want to say welcome back Ibra. He is a great champion. I tried to get him when I was at Chelsea. I have a lot of respect for him, he has lots of personality after having a tough upbringing - he is a great player. I think he can give AC Milan a lot. His personality will help Milan, he will help the others grow. I think it is important for coaches to have players who lead the way, players who know what you want and lead the team. I think this is vital for a coach to have in a team. When a coach has those players then things are a lot easier

[Conte was not forthcoming regarding potential new arrivals] I have said in the past that I will not talk about it. It is pointless asking me these questions. I don’t want to be rude, but I will not talk about the transfer market. That is something for the club, not me. The January transfer window is always a bit peculiar. One must also be smart and understand that there can be many voices [publications]. The right weight must be given, but for us coaches it is a difficult month to handle certain situations. Sometimes untrue news comes out and you find yourself having to prepare a game while untrue rumours come out, but football is also this, you have to face this and be smart

2020 01 12 Retrieve

[Conte shuts down Arturo Vidal talk as he bemoans Inter injuries] I am not talking about players who are not part of the Inter squad. I faced this game without four key players. Atalanta are intense, with a lot of physical force. We did everything we could to try and win the game. The lads are exceptional. Today we had Nicolo Barella suspended, Matias Vecino with a calf problem. I’m trying to get Alexis Sanchez back in shape but in my view we are giving everything in a very difficult situation

[Stefano Sensi eased Conte’s concerns in that sense] I am happy because Stefano Sensi did 70 minutes in a very intense game, he will slowly come back up to speed. We continue to work, the ranking [in the table] must not deceive us

2020 01 12b Retrieve

[Inter manager Antonio Conte has declared he isn’t crazy not to play Alexis Sanchez, stressing the Chilean attacker still isn’t fit enough to play] You mention Sanchez - well gentlemen, players must be fit to play. I am not crazy. So, either I am a moron, or I want to hurt myself. I believe one plus one equals two. If you make one plus one equal five […] If I put someone out of our line-up it is for a reason. It is not about performing a hara-kiri or because I am a mad man

I faced this game without four key players. Atalanta are intense, with a lot of physical force. We did everything we could to try and win the game. The lads are exceptional. Today we had Nicolo Barella suspended, Matias Vecino with a calf problem. I’m trying to get Alexis Sanchez back in shape but in my view we are giving everything in a very difficult situation

2020 01 15 Retrieve

[On the team following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Atalanta, which saw Inter drop two points behind Serie A champions Juventus in the race for the Scudetto] I’m really pleased, it was a great response from the lads. Even from those who’ve played less of late and those who were coming back from injury.

I’m happy for Nicolo Barella, who is recovering after his injury and he was one of our starters today, as was Alexis Sanchez. He is an important player for us and slowly he’ll get back to his best. I’m also pleased for Borja Valero, who proved himself once again today, as well as Valentino Lazaro, Federico Dimarco and Andrea Ranocchia, who haven’t had many chances so far but all played really well.

There’s real harmony among this group, they are a great bunch of lads that want to do well. I’m really pleased to be working with them. We rounded off an important first half of the season in the league, picking up 46 points despite our difficulties and they have now left us in a strong position. The second half of the campaign won’t be easy but we’ve started on our journey and we want to keep growing, maintaining the right amount of patience to bring everything together

2020 01 15b Retrieve

[Conte insists Inter don’t have big money to spend amid Christian Eriksen & Ashley Young rumours] There is not much money, the director has been clear. We must be good at finding situations that can bring us benefits. We must find cheap opportunities, otherwise I see it being hard. The ideas are there, if there is the possibility, we will improve. What you can’t get with money you have to get with intelligence and wit.

We have made an important first step. We have faced serious problems and despite this, we have gained 46 points. The second half of the season will be difficult, we know it, there will still be a lot of room to fight and to grow. The most important thing about this course was the feeling that was created between me and the boys and the fact that they fully embraced my project

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[Conte labels transfer window a ‘virus’ as he shrugs off Mourinho dig over Eriksen pursuit] This is the most difficult period of the season for a coach, because there are constantly names in the papers, some stories that are true, others that aren’t. The transfer window is like a potential virus that we must contain

Young has just arrived, so it’s unthinkable to suggest he’d come with us to Lecce. He will start training and we’ll work towards next week against Cagliari. Ashley is super experienced and played both on the right and left at Manchester United. He was born a winger, but can play as the fifth in a midfield. He hadn’t played much recently in the Premier League, so will take a little while to get into shape

[And in response to Mourinho questioning Inter’s respect for Tottenham amid their ongoing pursuit of Eriksen] It’s the usual. Jose and I know each other, it’s not a problem

[quizzed on a proposed swap deal with Roma, with Leonardo Spinazzola seemingly nailed on for a switch with Matteo Politano heading the other way] I made a technical decision for the Spinazzola-Politano transfer. That’s all I can say. After that, other things happened that are not under my purview, so you’d have to ask someone else. I was asked for my opinion, I gave it, that can be listened to or not. Matteo already had his heart set on Roma and he wanted to stay there

2020 01 25 Retrieve

[Conte bites back at transfer critics amid Eriksen & Giroud talk] Some of these players haven’t been active for a while, so we must give them time to get into shape. This team overall lacks experience and doesn’t have the ingredients that allow you to win despite laying off the accelerator. We have to always be going at full speed. For now, we have brought in Young to cover for Kwadwo Asamoah’s injury and Moses on loan because Valentino Lazaro left. We are trying to reinforce various areas of the team. You in the media seem to act as if we just signed half of Real Madrid, but that’s not the right message. It’s an emergency situation tomorrow, because Antonio Candreva is suspended, so it’s possible Young will start

[Conte has also sought to defend his tactical approach at Inter] Our idea is always to go on the attack, even when we score the first goal. We must try to score another goal and not just defend the one we have. The fact that we considered a draw away to Lecce to be a negative result shows how much Inter have advanced compared to past seasons. We must keep our feet on the ground, remain humble and accept that draw in the right way. People continue to ignore me when I say we are starting a journey, but we have achieved credibility in these six months and that is positive. We mustn’t lose sight of reality

2020 01 26 Retrieve

[Furious Inter boss Conte made his displeasure known to the referee at full-time in 1-1 draw with Cagliari] The draw certainly wasn’t down to the referee - we only complained because he didn’t blow for fouls on our forwards, but always did for theirs. But we don’t want to point fingers at anyone but ourselves. We lacked clarity and should have killed the game off earlier because we had plenty of chances to make it 2-0

2020 01 28 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte is a coach who is so obsessed with his players being in peak physical condition that he even offers them sex tips] Short spells, with the minimum of effort and use positions where they are under their partners. And preferably with their wives, because then you don’t have to put in an exceptional performance!

[When Conte doesn’t have transitional style of football he craves, he lashes out at his bosses] Big mistakes were made in planning this season. I don’t care about January or February. We should’ve planned this season out much, much better. We proved that we can trouble anyone if we are on form, but there are players who have played non-stop. We cannot play in Serie A and the Champions League constantly pushed to the limits. I am really p*ssed off, because we cannot do more than this. I am just fed up saying the same thing over and over. I hope a director comes out and says something instead

[He felt he simply didn’t have sufficient strength in depth to rotate his players regularly in order to keep them fresh enough] The draw stems from the fact that we must always go at 200 [kilometres] an hour. We are not a team that manages to bring home the victory going at an average speed. When we can’t get to the maximum, we are a normal team

[During that remarkable rant at Signal Iduna Park, an exasperated Conte asked] We are talking about players who, apart from Diego Godin, have never won anything. Who do we turn to? Nicolo Barella who has come from Cagliari? Or Stefano Sensi, who came from Sassuolo?

2020 01 30 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte was reluctant to introduce Christian Eriksen for his Inter debut so soon] We did not intend to use Eriksen so soon, as he only started training with us yesterday, but Matias Vecino and Barella were the only available midfielders. Eriksen has character and raises the quality level of the squad. I hope to get more players back, because we really are limited in the middle. We tried a system with a trequartista today to deal with the absence of Stefano Sensi and Marcelo Brozovic. Eriksen can play in a few different roles, and we’ll see - it could be an option, but we need to work on it a lot more. We were rather forced into using the three strikers together because I found out about the problems in midfield

2020 02 01 Retrieve

[Despite seeing Ashley Young, Victor Moses and Christian Eriksen added to his squad during the January window, Conte dismissed the idea that the Nerazzurri now suddenly boast the same strength in depth as Serie A title rivals Juventus] You in the media seem to act as if we just signed half of Real Madrid, but that’s not the right message

2020 02 01b Retrieve

[Conte says Eriksen arrival is a coup for Inter] Eriksen was a great coup for this club as he had so many options to choose from and he chose Inter. That proves Inter are seen the right way and we are all working to ensure the brand maintains this lustre. Eriksen hasn’t been playing very much lately for Spurs, but all told, he is in decent physical shape and is starting to get into our ideas of football. We talked to him a great deal, so he understands what we want from him and fortunately he is a quick learner.

[Asked if the arrivals of Eriksen, Young and Moses will give Inter enough to win the Scudetto] Time will tell. I am happy to work with these players, but they still need to learn the style of football and the language. When the intensive period of the fixture list begins, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope there are no injuries. You all saw what happened in the first five months, as there were players forced to play every three days. I hope to have more options to choose and rotate

[Lautaro Martinez will miss the visit to Udinese as he starts a two-match ban, with Conte confirming 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito or Alexis Sanchez will partner Romelu Lukaku in attack] Lautaro is a big miss, considering his strong rapport with Romelu Lukaku. It’s an opportunity for those who haven’t played as much to make the most of the situation. Either Sebastiano Esposito or Alexis Sanchez will start. Marcelo Brozovic had his first training session with us yesterday and is coming to Udine, then we’ll evaluate his fitness there. I expect a tough game, as Udinese are a very physical side with strong quality too. It’ll be a hard match, as they all are in Serie A

2020 02 02 Retrieve

[Inter head coach Antonio Conte has defended his record at Chelsea by pointing out he was able to deliver tangible success straight away] At Chelsea, I won the Premier League in the first year and the FA Cup in the second year. Klopp hasn’t won anything yet in England after four years and Guardiola didn’t win anything in his first year

2020 02 02b Retrieve

[Conte satisfied with Eriksen as Lukaku turns focus to Milan derby] I think that for someone who arrived five days ago, and we should not forget we had to rush him in because we were missing several midfielders, Eriksen still made a positive impact. Obviously, he needs to get settled into our style of football and also find the right fitness levels for Serie A, but I am very pleased with his full debut. He will get to learn the positioning we ask of our midfielders, but these are early days and I am satisfied

2020 02 09 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte admits Inter were at risk of a hammering before they came from two goals down to beat Milan 4-2 in the Derby della Madonnina] It was a special night, that’s for sure. The first half saw us in real difficulty, perhaps more than we’ve ever been this season, and there was the risk of a hammering. Instead, we did well to get the balance back, to understand where we had to improve, to have faith in what we were doing and the credit goes to these lads. Aside from the result, I am happy to see them resist under blows and turn it around, as that means they are preparing for something truly important. It’s still very early to talk about something we can for now dream of. We can have a dream

It’s going to be a very intense period for us coming up and, after that, I think we’ll have a better idea of our potential and our real capabilities. We can’t achieve everything from one day to the next, but we are building. These lads proved they have great strength and guts today. I didn’t need to talk much at half-time. I think in difficult situations, you have to be very clear and take responsibility. I had a large share of the responsibility for the fact we were losing 2-0 at half-time. We stayed together, from start to finish, and found our way out of a tough situation. We have to keep this evening in mind, as it will help us be a team in future and deal with similar difficulties

2020 02 13 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte feels Inter’s derby victory over AC Milan took away a lot of nervous energy] The derby took away a lot of energy, especially nervous. I made five changes from Sunday to bring in fresh legs, but Napoli beat Juventus, Lazio and Liverpool this season, so that means they’ve got quality there. I’d say that, after Juventus, Napoli have the most impressive squad in Serie A.

Gennaro Gattuso was smart to sit back, wait and go on the counter. We had the chances and it would’ve been a fair result if we had played out a draw. When you’re up against defensive teams like this, you have to move the ball around faster and create spaces. We are at the start of this journey, so if some think we are at the same level as a side that was at the top for many years, then I say we’re a long way off and have to use these defeats to improve

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Conte calls on ‘scared’ Inter to bounce back from Lazio defeat] I think it was a good performance, it’s the result I didn’t like and the way we conceded the two goals, as we gifted them to Lazio. We were not impeccable, but inevitably in these big games, the details become decisive and the margin of error becomes reduced. It’s part of a growth process, there was some naivete and these lads must try to be more relaxed in these situations.

We were too soft on the two goals. We had other situations this season where we had taken the lead and threw points away, for example also Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund [in the Champions League], games we had in our grasp and ended up losing. As I said, this is a growth process and we have to go through it so that we can face every situation the right way. Straight after the restart, it was as if we were scared. That has to improve. The lads worked hard and I thank them for that. We are trying to irritate the teams at the top, it was a ‘head-to-head’ with Lazio and we ought to be proud to have been in this situation in the first place. At the same time, we must improve if we are to continue causing problems up there

2020 02 20 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte says Christian Eriksen is yet to reach peak physical condition after joining Intermilan from Tottenham] I’m happy for him, the goal always gives confidence. Christian just needs to work to find the right physical condition, to find the brilliance of his best moments at Tottenham. He can do even more than what he showed us today, but we are very happy because we know what he can give us

[Inter were again without goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, although deputy Daniele Padelli was completely untested as Ludogorets mustered only a single shot] It is a situation that we monitor day by day. We have confidence in Daniele Padelli, and when he is ready to resume his place, he will. Until then, we continue with Padelli

2020 02 22 Retrieve

[Inter boss Antonio Conte is not concerned about Lautaro Martinez’s head being turned] The boy is fully concentrated. He is doing well and must continue in this way. He has grown a lot over the last year and is only 22. He is committed and I am happy to have him available

Playing on a Thursday makes things difficult as you only have one day to prepare for the next game. It is something we will get used to over time. Sampdoria are in good shape, despite losing last week. We will have to be very focused to get the three points. They have a highly experienced coach in Claudio Ranieri and experienced players like Fabio Quagliarella, who amazes me every year

It depends on the game and the opponent. You can try different things but don’t forget you have to field a balanced team. We will see if this is the right time to do it

2020 02 28 Retrieve

[Conte says Inter had to overcome ‘strange’ atmosphere] I’ve also played behind closed doors with Italy against Croatia. The atmosphere is strange and doesn’t make things easy as it’s like a training session. I have to say that my players took the right approach today, even if we fell behind. We made changes, giving other players some minutes, and now we move on

We started this run of games and there is an important match coming up against Juventus. Once we reach the end of this period, we’ll understand how distant we are from a winning level. I am convinced this will give us more clarity on where we are now, the length of the road ahead of us and the work that still needs to be done
We need to work on the ideas and have had time in training. The postponement of the game with Sampdoria last week gave us time to test out something new, which can be used either at the start of a match or during the 90 minutes. When you have two strikers, it’s inevitably harder work for the midfielders. For those who play with one centre-forward, two wingers or a trequartista, there are more players ready to help cover defensively. We always need to find the right balance depending on the characteristics of the opponents we are up against

2020 03 09 Retrieve

[After Eriksen scored his first goal for Inter last month against Ludogorets, Conte suggested his new signing was still some way from his best form] I’m happy for him, the goal always gives confidence. Christian just needs to work to find the right physical condition, to find the brilliance of his best moments at Tottenham. He can do even more than what he showed us today, but we are very happy because we know what he can give us.

2020 03 15 Retrieve

[Inter boss Conte makes plea amid coronavirus emergency in Italy] Please stay home and respect the rules. That’s the only way to confront this emergency. It’s a difficult and tough moment but if we stick together, we’ll get through it. Don’t give up!

2020 03 20 Retrieve

[Inter boss Antonio Conte believes Lautaro is fully committed to the title-chasing squad that he has pieced together] The boy is fully concentrated. He is doing well and must continue in this way. He has grown a lot over the last year and is only 22. He is committed and I am happy to have him available

2020 04 09 Retrieve

[On the fringes at PSG & unwanted by Inter: Has it all gone wrong again for Icardi?] Icardi is not part of our project. The club has made that very clear

2020 05 12 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has described [N’Golo Kante](n-golo-kante.html) as one of the best players he has ever coached] In my opinion, he can play in every position in midfield. We are talking about an amazing player, a top player. He is amazing with and without the ball. When you have N’Golo in your team, you can think you are playing with one player more. You can find a smile on his face every day. He is a very positive guy. He is one of the best players I have had in my career as a coach

Generally to be the manager of a top club is not easy. Because when you are in a top club the demands are very high. You must win to keep your job. My experience at Chelsea was amazing. I have great memories about the relationships with the players, fans and also the club. Chelsea is one of the best teams in England in the last 10-15 years. They won a lot of trophies. It is normal when you arrive at such a club that the demands are high but it is normal for a top club

2020 05 12b Retrieve

[Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says Lampard can be one of the best managers in the world] I think he is doing a really good job, Frank. This is his second experience after Derby County so to be the coach of a top team is not easy. I think he has the skills and ability to become one of the best managers in the world. He has to continue to work in this way and I wish him the best for the future

I think it was a crucial moment for me and for my team. We lost against Arsenal but in the previous game we lost also against Liverpool. Usually when you are in a top club and you have two defeats in a row it is not an easy moment for you and the club. But it was a crucial moment because I decided to change system and play with a 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1 with Eden Hazard, Willian or Pedro behind Diego Costa, and three at the back. I think it was an important moment and we put the pace in for our title in at that moment. The coach must be a tailor and try to find the right suit for your team. After two months working with the players I decided to change formation and to put them in the best situation to exploit their quality. I think I did this and for that reason we won the title and reached the final in the FA Cup

2020 05 12c Retrieve

[Antonio Conte was the man to phase John Terry out at Chelsea, but the Italian says he cannot thank the Blues legend enough for aiding his cause while calling the shots at Stamford Bridge] It was a great privilege for me to be the coach of a Chelsea legend like John Terry. We are talking about a top man, a really good man and then a top player. He helped me a lot in my first season in and out of the pitch. He was very important in the training ground, during the sessions to keep the concentration standards high

[The current Inter boss added on bringing the curtain down on an iconic career at Chelsea] He decided he wanted this because 26 was his squad number and for me it was a pleasure to give him this opportunity. I will never be able to thank him enough. He was very important for me and our team

2020 06 14 Retrieve

[Antonio Conte felt Inter deserved to reach the Coppa Italia final] Looking at both matches, we deserved much more. In terms of the performance, I have very little to reproach the boys about. This is the football we want to play; we created a lot and were aggressive. Maybe we should have been more clinical in front of goal, but Ospina performed miracles. Their goal was disappointing because it was a careless situation that we could have avoided. But I’m satisfied because we’re on the right path, we controlled the game against a strong Napoli team. My glass is half-full. We created numerous opportunities and had 18 efforts at goal. Ospina was the best player on the pitch. Obviously, we can improve, and we need to be more ruthless in the future, but I don’t have anything to complain about in terms of desire and determination. We did what we’d worked on in training. It’s disappointing for the lads not to qualify for the final because, based on what we did over the 180 minutes, we deserved to do so

2020 06 20 Retrieve

[Conte backs Eriksen to come good and boost Inter’s title charge] I think he’s now found his feet and fully settled here. We are always trying and working on solutions to get the best out of the qualities of the players in the squad. I am pleased with how we have worked over this period

[The Sampdoria fixture is a game in hand for Inter over leaders Juventus and second-placed Lazio] Should we win, we would cut the gap to the top to six points. Then, there are 12 league games to play. Personally, I don’t think the gap is that massive. I have positive feelings. But naturally I need to see the response in matches. We want to give our all in this end of season run-in. We are not ruling anything out. There are no limits to what we can achieve. I think the side has improved in all areas. I am very confident

Claudio Ranieri is an excellent coach. He achieved something extraordinary at Leicester. But he’s also a wonderful person. I’ve been lucky to get to know him and we meet up with our families. I wish him all the best at Sampdoria, but only after they have played us

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[Conte was frustrated that his team did not put the game to bed earlier] When you have the opportunity, you have to kill the opponent. Just look at the game with Napoli: you have the opportunity to win it, it ends 1-1 and you are criticised. Today you had to be bad, determined, cynical…otherwise you get in trouble. It’s not that you suffer, but you go from the possible 3-0 to 2-1, knowing that the game is as vital as they will all be from here to the end

2020 06 22b Retrieve

[Antonio Conte has stressed that Inter are still in the hunt for the Scudetto] This evening, we had no choice but to get the victory so we could close the gap to six points. We fuel the hope that we can achieve something extraordinary. It’s true that we could’ve sealed it earlier by making more of our chances, but instead we conceded at the first Samp attempt and got a little anxious. It was a good performance, anyway. I repeat, it’s not a fitness issue, but when we have scoring opportunities and do not take them, which also happened in the Coppa Italia with Napoli, all it takes is one lucky ricochet and it’s all up for grabs again. I hope these games will help us realise we must kill - in a sporting sense - the opponent and kill the game when we have the chance

[Inter next meet Sassuolo on Wednesday and Conte stressed his side can’t afford to take any game lightly] We’re six points off the top with 12 rounds to go. There’s no margin for error, whereas Lazio and Juventus can have the odd mistake and get away with it. This is why need that ferocity in front of goal, because with a strong lead, we can then relax on the ball.

2020 06 22c Retrieve

[Conte was pleased with how Eriksen had settled at the San Siro but explained he wanted more goals from the Danish playmaker] We had the chance to work with him. We had the time to improve from both physical and tactical point of view. Nowadays he fits our project but he needs to be more decisive because he had many chances to score and he must score. But I am pleased the way he played, as the team, because we are going to play again in three days and those three points will be decisive for us

2020 06 22d Retrieve

[Antonio Conte wants to see Christian Eriksen become more decisive after the midfielder helped Inter to a 2-1 win over Sampdoria] We had the chance to work with him. We had the time to improve from both physical and tactical point of view. Nowadays he fits our project but he needs to be more decisive because he had many chances to score and he must score. But I am pleased the way he played, as the team, because we are going to play again in three days and those three points will be decisive for us

2020 06 25 Retrieve

[Inter coach Conte banned for one match after fifth yellow card] I think we deserved much more considering how much we created, whereas I don’t recall any Samir Handanovic saves. It’s something we keep repeating in this pattern and are paying a heavy price. I am very disappointed and so are the lads. When you play this type of game and put so much into it, you have the chance to win despite the difficulties in the key area of midfield, you have to take home the three points. We didn’t do that, it’s disappointing and troubling. We had the chances to finish it and we didn’t. I don’t know what more we can do other than keep working. I am happy with the performance, we’ve got to be more careful on the details. That is where we can grow and improve

2020 06 25b Retrieve

[The Nerazzurri are now all but out of the Serie A title race after squandering two precious points] I think we deserved much more considering how much we created, whereas I don’t recall any Samir Handanovic saves. It’s something we keep repeating in this pattern and we are paying a heavy price. I am very disappointed and so are the lads. When you play this type of game and put so much into it, you have the chance to win despite the difficulties in the key area of midfield, you have to take home the three points. We didn’t do that - it’s disappointing and troubling.

There are situations where we need to score goals and we are paying for these naive errors. We had the chances to finish it and we didn’t. I don’t know what more we can do other than keep working. I am happy with the performance, we’ve got to be more careful on the details. That is where we can grow and improve. We must try to win all of our remaining matches, regardless of what will happen, because I want the team always aiming for the maximum. I don’t want any regrets, but we have some tonight

When you play for Inter, you’re part of a great team and need to move on immediately. The away trip to Parma is a chance to get back on track. We need to think like a great team. We are focused on winning. Since we’ve been back, we’ve had more opportunities than our opponents. Failing to kill off games has become a problem.

2020 07 02 Retrieve

[Coronavirus: Juventus vs Inter Milan among five Serie A matches to be played behind closed doors] Soccer needs the crowd, to hear the atmosphere around it. That’s the best thing about the game, the atmosphere around the soccer being played. These decisions have been taken with public health in mind but I hope that everything returns to normal as soon as possible