Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Conte claims Inter players are worth much more now

SoccerNews in Serie A 8 May 2021

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Antonio Conte claimed he has made Inter’s players much more valuable in the transfer market as he urged them to turn winning into “an obsession”.

Inter’s Serie A title celebrations continued on Saturday with a 5-1 thrashing of Sampdoria at San Siro as they were given a guard of honour by their opponents before kick-off.

The win was Inter’s 14th consecutive victory at home – a new club record – as two goals from Alexis Sanchez and one apiece from Roberto Gagliardini, Andrea Pinamonti and Lautaro Martinez put the gloss on stylish performance.

Conte ended Juventus’ Serie A dominance by delivering the Nerazzurri’s first title in 11 years and he also reckoned his coaching has made Inter’s players worth more.

He told Sky Italia: “I think the work we’ve done over two years has made a big difference, as the squad improved not only on the pitch, but also in terms of transfer value.

“The team is now considerably more valuable than it was when I took over, and so I think investing in my experience has paid off.

“I always knew my arrival would bring certain expectations. I feel those expectations have now been met.

“These lads can still grow further, they can improve in terms of mentality especially, but they are winners and they know what it is they have to do.

“Since we went to the top of the table, we’ve left absolutely nothing to chance. Zero. We didn’t ease off for a moment, not even today.

“I always said victory has to become an obsession for a winner, like a drug that they need. There’s Roma next, let’s take it one step at a time and always try to get the best out of every game.”

The victory over Sampdoria was Conte’s 136th in his 200th Serie A game as a manager – no other coach has won as many in the three-points-for-a-win era.

However, the 51-year-old once again deflected questions about his future at Inter despite leading the club to their first Scudetto since their treble-winning campaign in 2009-10.

Conte’s contract expires in 2022 but his position is uncertain amid doubts over Inter’s financial situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am here to talk about the present, not the future. We know how hard we worked, how much we suffered, so we need to enjoy this moment,” Conte said.

“Over two years, we brought back credibility to Inter, the club, the team and the fans. I’ve missed my chance to celebrate too many times in my life, this time I want to enjoy it to the full. As for the rest, we’ll see.”

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