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Bastoni: “Antonio Conte is the Lionel Messi of coaches”

Antonio Conte, Inter Milan
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Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni is loving life under new boss Antonio Conte and believes he is “the Lionel Messi of coaches”.

Conte has started life at Inter with a bang by winning his first two Serie A matches and taking them to top spot.

The former Chelsea manager has clearly made an impact already at the San Siro despite only arriving in May. He made some huge changes in the summer by offloading Mauro Icardi and Radja Nainggolan, while bringing in Manchester United duo Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

These developments have prompted Inter fans to dare to dream of winning a first league title since 2010.

And now Bastoni has opened up on what life is like under Conte and his gruelling methods at Inter these days.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Everyone had spoken highly of Conte and I’ve only received confirmation of how great he is.

“As far as I am concerned, Conte is the Messi of coaches.

“He is phenomenal, has exceptional footballing ideas and always wants to go on the attack. The training schedule is very tough indeed, but so was Gian Piero Gasperini when I played for Atalanta.

“The difference was that we were training in China over the summer and the humidity was incredible, so I admit that did make me suffer a lot. But when the quality level goes up, you must raise your game to meet it.”

Conte has made it no secret that his top target is to restore Inter’s glory days this season. To do that, however, he must find a way of ending former club Juventus’ eight-season dominance of the Serie A.

Although Bastoni believes Inter shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves, and instead take things on a game-by-game basis.

The 20-year-old defender added: “There’s no point denying it, we want to change the way the Serie A seasons have been going recently.

“We have the coach and the squad to do that, but must prove it one game at a time.”

Alessandro Bastoni, Inter Milan, Italy
BOLOGNA, ITALY – JUNE 12: Alessandro Bastoni of Italy in action during a Italy training session at Casteldebole Training Center on June 12, 2019 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)