Antonio Conte says he had no support as Italy boss: 'Conte against everyone'
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Antonio Conte said he had no support in his role as Italy coach, as his two-year reign ended with the defeat to Germany in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals.
On television after the game, the coach, who is leaving Italy to take over Chelsea, praised his players for giving their all despite the bitter exit on penalties.
He also thanked Italian football association (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio, but his evaluation of the media and Serie A was far less positive in his postgame news conference.
“I didn’t see anyone alongside me, the media, or anyone, it was always Conte against everyone,” the manager said. “I’ve always fought for the interests of the national team, not for myself.
“If I’m honest I’ve never felt supported by anyone. The president of the Italian federation has always been alongside me but he can only do so much. My decision has been taken, it’s a shame as we have created a family and I hope what we leave can bear fruit.”
Conte had been trying for months to shift the date of the Coppa Italia final, with Tavecchio accusing the Serie A authorities in January of undermining the national team by refusing to schedule it before the end of the league season.
Juventus and AC Milan played the cup final on May 21 as planned, leaving Conte without seven players for an extra week as he prepared to compete in France.
“I hope in the future we can give more time for the national side,” Conte said. “I fought in vain to move the Coppa Italia final as I wanted to work with the players because our only chance of achieving something great, our only hope, was to work as a small war machine.
“I think we have proved that today, and throughout the European Championship.
“I hope that we can really leave a lasting mark in terms of love for the national team and for the shirt. We have tried to put this message across and I hope it’s been conveyed despite our elimination.”
Antonio Conte coached his final game with Italy on Saturday.
But Conte added that overall he enjoyed his time in charge of the Azzurri, though he was also very excited to take over the Blues in London.
“I have had two wonderful years culminating in this eight-week period and I will never stop thanking everyone as we created a magical atmosphere which came to an end tonight,” he said.
“The decision to leave the national team after a two-year spell was made before the tournament. In November I thought I was continuing, but when I made my decision not to continue with the national team I told the president my decision after which there was a great opportunity to move to Chelsea and I accepted that. Now I have the pleasure to begin this very exciting adventure.
“In a few days’ time the new season will begin and, to be honest, I wouldn’t like to have had a single day’s holiday as that would have meant going forward in the European Championship.
“Now I’ll take seven days off when I will try to shift some of this disappointment for going out of the competition before then taking the reins at Chelsea. I know it will be a difficult challenge but that’s what I relish.”
The original version of this story which was published by ESPN can be viewed here.
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