Antonio Conte was this morning announced as the new head coach of Internazionale, replacing Luciano Spaletti, who was officially dismissed yesterday.
This marks the return of Conte to management, following his sacking by Chelsea last July as well as the protracted and quite unseemly 10-month legal battle that followed over severance payments. But that nonsense is now over, with Chelsea reportedly agreeing in arbitration to pay in full the £9m compensation that was due, and all involved could move on with their lives.
Conte will certainly have his work cut out for him at Inter, who are far from the dominant force in Italian football that they once were. It is however a rather typical Conte assignment: another reclamation project at a fallen giant. After his successes at Juventus and Chelsea, and in some measure, the Italian national team as well, it would be hard to bet against him repeating that same trick with the Nerazzurri.
Inter did manage to qualify for next year’s Champions League by scraping into fourth place in quite literally the last ten minutes of the season. They will be in pot 2 (or maybe just 3) for the group stage draw. Chelsea are in pot 1 as Europa League champions. I’d say there’s about a 3495087% chance we’ll be drawn into the same group.
At the very least, brace yourselves for some incoming transfer rumors, which had already started with Victor Moses.
In any case, best of luck to Antonioooooo, who’s the first big appointment in what’s expected to be a very busy and potentially very Chelsea-related summer of head coaching changes in the Serie A.
UPDATE: Inter have released a short announcement video as well, which is a bit cheesy but wonderfully acknowledges the rivalry between Inter and Conte’s old team, Juventus, and of course gets some of that Conte fire started.
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.