Antonio Conte has reflected on his ‘amazing’ time at Chelsea and has hailed N’Golo Kante as ‘one of the best players’ he has coached throughout his managerial career.
Conte spent two seasons in English football and enjoyed a successful period at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League during his debut season at the club before delivering FA Cup success the following campaign.
The Italian was dismissed after he failed to secure Champions League qualification despite having the best win percentage of any Chelsea manager to have taken charge of 100+ games in the Premier League era – and despite a prolonged legal battle following his departure – he insists he holds no resentment to his former side after an ‘amazing’ experience in west London.
“Generally to be the manager of a top club is not easy. Because when you are in a top club the demands are very high. You must win to keep your job,” Conte told Sky Sports.
“My experience at Chelsea was amazing. I have great memories about the relationships with the players, fans and also the club.
"Antonio Conte has stormed into the Premier League!" ⚡#OnThisDay in 2017, Chelsea were confirmed as Premier League champions – watch our exclusive interview with Antonio Conte on the #SkyFootballShow from 9am on Sky Sports Premier League! ⚽📺 pic.twitter.com/hdGQVHENis
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 12, 2020
“Chelsea is one of the best teams in England in the last 10-15 years. They won a lot of trophies.
“It is normal when you arrive at such a club that the demands are high but it is normal for a top club.”
Conte was also full of praise for the abilities of World Cup winner N’Golo Kante, the 50-year-old having signed the France international from Leicester ahead of his first season in the Premier League.
Kante starred during Chelsea’ Premier League title triumph to be named as the PFA Player’s Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, and Conte rates the midfielder amongst the best players he has worked with.
“In my opinion, he can play in every position in midfield. We are talking about an amazing player, a top player,” the Italian said.
“He is amazing with and without the ball. When you have N’Golo in your team, you can think you are playing with one player more.
“You can find a smile on his face every day. He is a very positive guy. He is one of the best players I have had in my career as a coach.”