Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has revealed he is ‘excited’ at the prospect of managing the Blues after guiding his Italy side to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, Sky Sports reports.
The former Juventus manager had gone into the tournament knowing it would be his last act as the Azzurri boss after agreeing to become the new Chelsea manager in April.
However, Conte has admitted he would have liked to have continued in his role after Euro 2016 after exceeding expectations with a talented, yet, ageing Italian side.
“The decision to leave the national team after two years was taken early and I don’t deny there were moments when I’d have liked to have the opportunity to continue,” Conte told reporters on Saturday.
“But, because of certain developments, I wasn’t able to go back on that.”
But the new Chelsea boss wants to make clear that he has no regrets over taking the job and has revealed he is “excited” at returning to club football after his trophy-laden spell with Juventus.
“In November I thought I was continuing with the national side,” the 46-year-old added. “Then I told the president of the Italian football federation of the great opportunity to join Chelsea Football Club.
“I wanted to return to the cut and thrust of club football. Now, I have the opportunity to start this exciting adventure.”
Italy lost to Germany on penalties after a 1-1 draw during 120 minutes after a series of impressive performances during the tournament and Conte has been questioned on whether he would return to the role in the future.
“I think it’s impossible,” he said. “My future lies in working at club level, my future’s with Chelsea.
“Now I’ll take seven days off to charge my batteries and shift a bit of this disappointment before taking over at Chelsea. I know it will be a difficult challenge but it’s one I will cherish.”