Wednesday 28 June 2017

Antonio Conte wants to live 'different experiences' when his Chelsea spell ends

Antonio Conte says he would like to live
Antonio Conte says he would like to live "different experiences" when his time at Chelsea ends

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte wants to live "different experiences" when his time at Stamford Bridge comes to an end.

The former Juventus and Italy boss was on Friday forced to reiterate his commitment to Chelsea amid rumours of a return to his homeland with Inter Milan.

The 47-year-old, who began a three-year contract last July, has revived Chelsea this season, but is pragmatic enough to recognise that the life of a football manager is a perilous one.

Conte smiled when it was put to him that he could be at Chelsea for 10 to 15 years - "I thank you for your optimism," he said - and suggested when he does leave, his intention is to seek fresh pastures.

"In my mind, there is the will to find different experiences in different countries," said Conte, whose side play at West Ham on Monday.

"I think it's fantastic to find these experiences. When I was a footballer, I played only for two teams: Lecce and Juventus.

"But, honestly, in my career I wanted to go and play in different countries.

"Now I am having this great experience in England, in an amazing league.

"For me, this is great. And I hope to live this experience with my family next season."

It is the absence of wife Elisabetta and daughter Vittoria which likely ignited the rumour mill of Conte being unsettled.

He admitted it is challenging to live apart from his family, but it was always the intention for his daughter to complete the current academic year in Italy before moving to London.

"If you ask me if my family is missing me, honestly, I have to say yes," Conte added.

"It's not easy to stay alone, and live this experience with my family still in Italy."

The other challenge is that Conte went from managing his country at Euro 2016 to immediately taking up his post at Chelsea, so there was no time for respite.

"This is my first season away, in a new country, with a new language and new habits, and it's totally different from my past," he added.

"I started two days after finishing the Euros with Italy, and to arrive at a club, with new players, a new club, to bring your ideas, your philosophy and to change something in the habits of my players, it's not easy.

"But now, after seven months, I can tell I'm very happy of my experiences so far with Chelsea, to have this relationship with the club, with my players. I'm sure we can improve a lot in the future."

Chelsea won the 2014-15 title but finished 10th last season.

Conte has revived the team to take a commanding lead at the summit.

Individuals have also benefited, particularly Victor Moses who on Wednesday signed a contract extension until 2021.

The Nigeria international joined Chelsea from Wigan in August 2012 and has had loan spells at Liverpool, Stoke and last season at West Ham.

But Conte decided on the pre-season trip to North America that Moses should stay in the first-team squad and then converted him from a winger to right wing-back in a 3-4-3 formation which has seen Chelsea win 20 of their last 24 games in all competitions.

"I saw his potential quickly. I knew (of) him, but to see him live is very important to judge a player," Conte added.

"He showed me great commitment to understand, to study the new role, above all in defensive situations.

"Now we have a complete player, offensively and defensively."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport