Antonio Conte took a swipe at President Steven Zhang, former patron Massimo Moratti, and his critics in an interview.
finally broke his silence after terminating his contract withInter
by mutual consent, mostly because the club needed to cut costs on the market and in terms of wages.
“I did feel sad just days after celebrating the Scudetto, but that was immediately replaced by the enormous satisfaction of meeting fans who showed their affection, respect, and gratitude. Their ‘Thanks Mister’ is worth as much as a Scudetto to me,”
Conte said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It’s when people realize what we achieved, how much effort and dedication I put into it over the years, the enormous work we did to take the club, team, and fans where they deserve to be. I gave everything and the fans know that.”
and former patron
have criticized Conte for running away from a challenge during the club’s time of need. He also hit back at them in his interview.
“I won’t deny, I was surprised and upset by Moratti’s words, but we spoke on the phone and he apologized for the phrases that didn’t reflect his real thoughts. Anyone who knows me realizes how much I care about every club that I represent. I dedicate myself heart and soul.
“Wherever I have been, I’ve built squads that win, laying the foundations for future work. Some coaches leave teams with champions who have been squeezed dry, whereas I always left with young players who improved and gained in value on the transfer market. A unified group with a winning mentality, something you cannot buy because it’s all in the detail and the daily work. I am demanding with everyone, but above all with myself. I don’t play to take part. I play to win. That’s why clubs call me.
“Everyone expects victories with me on the bench and the evaluation of a side changes in my presence. I accept that, I know it’s my responsibility. Winning is very difficult, but following that up and winning again is even harder.”
There has been also the idea that he is a stressful presence and can not last more than two or three years with any team.
He also rejected this idea:
“It’d be too easy to say if someone feels stressed at this level, it’s just because they are called to give their best and evidently either got lazy or didn’t deserve to be there in the first place.”
His negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur collapsed because of his salary demands and his insistence on massive investment in the transfer market.
“I earn a lot, but I earn clubs even more money. If I was obsessed with money, I would’ve stayed where I was in the past and accepted compromises, but instead, I look at the project and am prepared to stay at home if they are unconvincing. It’s a matter of vision, professionalism and intellectual honesty, principles I will not walk away from.
“I like challenges and if you look at even the big clubs where I worked, they never started out as favorites when I took over.”
President Zhang also revealed that he no longer shared the same ideas with Conte, as what was not fundamental for him, was fundamental for the club.
“My project never changed,” Conte replied. “I don’t want to stir up controversy on the market or anything else. I respect President Zhang, I thank him for choosing me, I care about Inter, the team, and the fans, so I wish Simone Inzaghi all the best. He is a good, capable, ambitious coach and I wish the Nerazzurri the utmost success.”
He also hit back at his critics after the Scudetto triumph which was Inter’s first after 10 years.
“It’s an ugly habit in Italy, we want excellence and then destroy it. Everyone talks, judges, and points the finger. Perhaps it’s because mediocrity brings everyone closer together, but I refute and fight that idea.”
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