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Tottenham: Conte snaps back at Richarlison for “S*** season” comment

Antonio Conte at Tottenham
© Ace Football

The Brazil international made no secret of his frustration for lack of game time under Conte.

Antonio Conte has insisted Richarlison didn’t criticise him in his post-match comments after crashing out of the Champions League.

A frustrating goalless draw in London saw Conte’s men lose the tie 1-0. Milan reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012 as more pressure mounted on the Italian coach.

Conte brought in Richarlison for Emerson Royal in the 70th minute. The Brazilian striker lamented his limited playing time in his post-match interview.

“This season, excuse the word, it’s been s***, because I don’t have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury,” Richarlison told TNT Sports. 

“But, when I enter the field, I give my life. I came from two games well, I think that’s it, I think I should have played and I don’t have to cry about it.”

Conte responds

The Champions League defeat intensified rumours about Conte’s possible departure from Tottenham in the summer. The under-fire boss reacted to Richarlison’s comments in his interview before Tottenham’s upcoming match against Newcastle.

“First of all, I watched the interview of Richarlison. He didn’t criticise me,” Conte said at his press conference on Friday. “He said his season was s***, and he’s right. His season has been not good.

“He had injuries, played and scored in the Champions League and then went to the World Cup and then had a serious injury. He’s scored no goals for us. I think he was really honest to say his season was not good. His season has not finished yet. If he deserves to play, I’ll give him the opportunity.”

You are being selfish

Conte went on to criticise Richarlison for being “selfish”, revealing the Brazilian has already apologised for his comments.

“For the rest of the interview, I think he (Richarlison) made a mistake,” Spurs’ manager continued. “When you speak of ‘I’ and not ‘us’, you are being selfish.

“I say to my players, ‘if we want to build something important and win a trophy, we have to speak with ‘we’ not with ‘I”, because otherwise you’re thinking of yourself.

“He made a mistake and he apologised and it was good for me to clarify with the team again about this. In this aspect, we have to improve. We have to be more of a team and show more spirit positive, especially in negative moments.”