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Future Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on winning, respect, and going to war with Arturo Vidal

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

A couple days ago, Italy head coach Antonio Conte gave an interview to Spanish newspaper El Pais.  Certain quotes from that are now being picked up by various English outlets to fuel transfer rumors about Arturo Vidal and Chelsea.

Granted, Conte does specifically say that he'd want Vidal on 'all his teams' after questioned about Vidal's recent quotes about how if he were to go to war, he'd want Antonio Conte to take him.  So there's definitely something there between the two of them — shades of Mourinho and his Zealots — but whether that actually means a reunion is on the cards at Stamford Bridge... I think that's a bit of a stretch at the moment.

And I would take Vidal [to war]. He's an amazing player... [At Juve] in my head I wanted to play with 4-2-4 and 4-4-2; seeing the intensity of Vidal up and down the pitch, I switched to 4-3-3 which is then transformed into a 3-5-2. He has extraordinary physical qualities and exceptional technical skills.  If I get to coach him a bit more, that would be fantastic. I want him on all my teams.

More interestingly, Conte then goes on to talk a bit about his footballing philosophy, which, given all the war talk, is mainly about...


Football is a sport and sport is a battle and in battle, we must be superior. The motto of Baron De Coubertin [the important thing is to participate — i.e. the modern olympic games] is not for me. I'm a very competitive person, I do not do things just for the sake of doing them. If I decide to do something, I want to get the maximum out of myself and others, because I am a perfectionist.


"[Players earn my trust] by having manners and respect. That's the first thing I give people, and the first thing I expect back. I'll never trust someone who is rude."


"You have to sacrifice yourself for the team. The team isn't a single element. Obviously the more talent you have, the more chance you have of winning, but I want that talent to be put to use for the team. The team has always been the priority for me, I've never entrusted everything to a single player, no matter how good he was. What distinguished me [as a player] was running a lot, happy because I could see the superstars playing, playing for the team. I've experienced it, and I know how it is so that's what I wanted to implement." regerts...

"You have to finish the game with no regrets. You can win or lose, but you should never go to the dressing room saying if only I'd done this or done that"


"Lack of passion [makes me angry]. Football is a sport you have to be in love with, you need to have a lot of passion and enthusiasm. If I see people who don't have it, strolling around the pitch, looking tired in training — that makes me angry."


"[Accepting criticism can be] difficult for everyone, including coaches, especially if you've given everything.  I use videos — show rather than tell, you might say. I like to put it in a didactic way, get them to explain what would have happened if they'd been better positioned. It gives them more responsibility and gets them thinking like coaches."

"You have to know players, know who needs shouted at and who doesn't, get into their heads. Nowadays a coach has to be prepared in every way, tactically, technically and psychologically. You have to read and study hard. Anyone who says there's nothing left to invent in football is very foolish, they're saying they don't have the desire to do anything."

-Antonio Conte; source: El Pais via Google Translate and Football Italia

Sooo... when does he start, again?

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