• News

New Inter boss Conte unfazed by Juventus past: “It’s normal”

Getty Images

New Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte doesn’t see his Juventus past being a problem as he seeks to restore the club’s glory days.

Inter announced Conte as Luciano Spalletti’s replacement on May 31 on a three-year contract for next season. It will be the first time the Italian has coached a team since Chelsea fired him last summer.

Concerns have been raised, however, on whether Conte is really the right man for Inter given his past at fierce rivals Juventus.

The 49-year-old spent most of his playing career at Juventus and later became manager between 2011 to 2014. He won 102 of his 152 games and led the club to three consecutive Serie A crowns.

But Conte feels coaching multiple clubs is a “normal” thing and, therefore, is instead focusing on the challenge that awaits him at the San Siro.

“It’s normal to work for different clubs. I look forward to bringing Inter where they belong,” the ex-Chelsea boss told GQ Italia.

“The fans expect a lot, and they do well to support the team.

“I must work very hard. I need to work, it’s in my DNA. I can accept having only a little chance of winning at first, but that must change. We can win things, we have no limits.”

Inter have now gone eight years without silverware after ending up 21 points behind Serie A champions Juventus in fourth-place last season.

A Champions League group stage exit was followed up by a Coppa Italia quarter-final defeat to Lazio.

After holding talks with former Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta, who joined Inter in December, and chairman Steven Zhang, Conte embraced the idea of coaching the Nerazzurri.

“The presence of Marotta helped me join Inter because it was confirmation that they had very serious intentions,” said the Italian.

“For eight seasons, they haven’t fought for first place. They want to change that, and I was struck by Zhang’s determination.

“I know there are expectations placed on me, given the results I’ve achieved and the speed with which they came.”

MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 29: Antonio Conte manager of Juventus FC celebrates a victory with Leonardo Bonucci at the end of the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 29, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)