Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has admitted that he felt regret after leaving Italy’s national team to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
The former Juventus manager has made a steady start in west-London, guiding Chelsea to fifth with nine games played.
Speaking in the lead up to Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Southampton on Sunday, Conte explained how he felt after leaving Italy’s national team following Euro 2016.
As quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio, Conte said: “Going to coach the [Italian] national team was a form of respect towards Juventus. In the 50 days we were together with the players on national team (before and during the Euros) we built something unique and extraordinary. A family.
“When we lost to Germany everyone was crying because we knew the day after we wouldn’t see each other. Had I not already signed with Chelsea I couldn’t have abandoned the players, there was a moment when I regretted this decision”.
The Chelsea boss went on to discuss Roman Abramovic’s hands-on approach as owner, claiming that he regularly attends training sessions.
“He’s demanding but very passionate. He doesn’t suffer because of football but wants to know. He came many times to watch the training sessions and be with the group. He wants to know and that is beautiful. Here the facilities are extraordinary and I work more than in Italy.” Conte added
Conte, who was as honest as ever in the interview, also spoke about the differences between life at Chelsea and life in Turin, insisting that ‘things need to be worked on’ before success comes to Stamford Bridge.
He concluded: “Here everything is new but at the level of players I found some great talents. But talent needs to be worked on so it can be inserted on a team. It’s well known I don’t handle losses well, I try to avoid them at all cost. With work, almost maniacal. I want the players to have more information so they avoid losing. When we lose I should take it more serenely, even my family tells me so. But I can’t sleep, I try to understand why. I would like to be more superficial sometimes. But the day I’ll be more superficial I will have lost everything that I am”.