Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon insists Antonio Conte hasn’t committed a betrayal joining Inter Milan and doesn’t deserve the grief he’s getting.
After a year on the sidelines, Conte has returned to management upon being named as Luciano Spalletti’s replacement at Inter.
Considering the great rivalry between Inter and Juventus, though, some Bianconeri fans haven’t taken the news very well given Conte’s past in Turin. The Italian enjoyed tremendous success with the club as both a player and manager.
But Buffon, who played under Conte at Juventus for three seasons, reckons his old coach doesn’t deserve the grief coming his way.
“What really did upset and hurt me was seeing some Juve fans calling for Conte’s star in the hall of fame to be removed after he joined Inter,” Buffon told Corriere dello Sport.
“I feel that I am within the Juve world, I know the directors, players and fans well, so I know what Antonio gave to the club and what he represented.
“He squeezed out every last drop of sweat for Juve, giving all of himself. As a player, he never held back for the good of the team.
“As a coach, he carried the squad on his back and dragged them to success with total clarity and never stopping for breath. In three packed seasons, he never once let his focus slip.”
As Juventus manager, Conte won 102 of his 152 games and led them to three consecutive Serie A crowns between 2011 to 2014.
Now the former Chelsea and Italy boss is raring to go again at Inter and has allegedly set his sights on some big summer recruits.
Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is at the top of his list, with Edin Dzeko of AS Roma next up. Conte apparently views the pair as ideal for his favoured 3-5-2 formation, which he plans to implement at Inter next season.