Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Marotta hails Conte after Scudetto as Inter CEO remains hopeful over future of title-winning coach

SoccerNews in Serie A 3 May 2021


Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta is hopeful Antonio Conte will stay at San Siro after leading the Nerazzurri to their first Serie A title in 11 years.

Atalanta’s 1-1 draw with Sassuolo on Sunday meant Inter were crowned champions of Italy for the first time since Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning side in 2009-10.

It also ended a run of nine consecutive Scudetti for Juventus, three of which were won by Conte when he was in charge of the Bianconeri from 2011 to 2014.

With four games remaining, Inter – 13 points clear atop the table – have matched their points (82) and clean sheets (14) totals for the whole of last season, when they finished a point behind Juventus.

Conte’s future, however, remains uncertain amid concerns over Inter’s financial situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic as owners Suning Holdings Group reportedly consider selling the club.

But Marotta – who worked with Conte at Juve – told Rai: “Conte’s focus, like ours, is to enjoy the moment. Inter needed such a happy moment, this is the moment to enjoy what has been achieved.

“Then in due course it is right to meet each other, but this is what all the clubs do at the end of the season.

“It is the moment in which the new season begins, and in the light of an extraordinary situation such as that of the pandemic, which has caused a great economic reduction, careful evaluations are required.

“This leads to work amongst all areas of the club. Conte feels good at Inter and I hope he can continue here.”

Conte earned his fourth Serie A title this season – only five other coaches in league history have managed at least four.

The former Italy boss is only the second coach in Serie A history to win a Scudetto with both Inter and Juve, joining Giovanni Trapattoni.

Marotta told Sky Sport Italia: “There was a consistent and clear gap between Inter and Juventus when I arrived. Having won the Scudetto with four rounds to spare should be seen not as a sign of the errors made by our opponents, but the credit given to Inter.

“We could potentially reach 94 points, which would be a very impressive tally. Conte deserves a great deal of credit, as he brought important sporting values from a winning career as player and coach and passed them on to these lads. None of them had won a title before other than Arturo Vidal.

“This achievement is down to a great leader like Conte.”

Marotta added: “My philosophy is that it is better to buy one less player and invest in a great coach. The wages he is on are reflected by the trophy cabinet and his CV.

“I proposed Conte to Inter because I felt he was the right man at the right time. We had already won three Serie A titles together at Juventus, so we know each other very well.

“That means I also knew full well that some of his statements to the media were to motivate the club and push us forward. He wanted to make more rapid progress and we were a little slower, but he was pushing us to achieve something important together.

“I much prefer someone like Conte who says things to your face rather than those who refuse to tell you how things really are.”


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