Conte: The right passion
news Sun 25 Feb 2018
Antonio Conte has thanked his father for instilling in him the passion that is on show in every Chelsea game from the touchline, which he believes gives his players an extra push.
Rarely a minute goes by on the pitch without the Blues' head coach urging his team on from the sideline, offering encouragement and advice, and this afternoon he will be doing exactly that when we take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Ahead of that match between the two clubs who have won the most Premier League titles, Conte discussed how his exuberance for the sport goes back to childhood and why his emotions are always poured out despite his initial intentions.
'A lot of the time I start with the idea to enjoy the game, to stay sat down,' he said. 'It’s not the same for me and especially for my players and the fans – or for my father.
'He watched the game against Watford, and he said to me he didn’t see me with the right passion or the right hunger, and said I finished the game with a voice.
'When I started to play football, my father was the owner, the coach and the kit man. He drew the lines. From the start of my life I spent it on the pitch, following my father’s team, and for this reason I have to thank him for the passion I have for this sport.
'I remember when I started as an assistant coach, in some games I shouted more than the coach. A lot of times at the end of the game, I said I was sorry to him, but this is my way to live the game.
'Maybe in the future when I get older I have to try to be calmer and more relaxed during the game. But this is my strength: to stay on the touchline and push my players and myself.
'I live the game with my players, and I want them to feel that I stay with them and I am ready to suffer with them.'
Once the final whistle blows, however, the suffering can end – for a few hours, at least, until the focus switches to to the next challenge ahead of Conte and his players.
'If we win, this is the moment I find complete peace, in my mind and in my body,' he added. 'I am tired, but when we win it is the best moment for me. I enjoy that moment, maybe for two or three hours, and then I restart thinking and preparing for the next game.
'When we lose, it is not a good moment for me. I prefer to stay in silence. After the game it is not good to speak, especially if you are angry. It is dangerous. It’s important to make yourself calm and take one or two days to recover and restart.'