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10th Mar 2023

Antonio Conte calls Richarlison ‘sh*t’ and highlights goal drought


Antonio Conte Richarlison

‘His season is not good’

Antonio Conte has responded to Richarlison’s comments following Spurs’ Champions League failure against AC Milan during the week.

Tottenham were sent crashing out of Europe after playing out a drab 0-0 draw with the Italian side in the second leg of their last 16 tie, losing 1-0 on aggregate.

After the game, Richarlison spoke to Brazilian channell TNT Sports criticising his manager for not starting him, and said Spurs’ season had been “sh*t.”

On Friday, Conte was speaking to reporters ahead of his side’s game with Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

Responding to Richarlison’s comments, the Spurs manager said: “First of all I watched the interview of Richarlison. He didn’t criticise me. He said his season was shit 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.”

Conte went on to say that he believed the Brazilian forward “made a mistake” with the rest of the interview and was “being selfish.”

He explained: “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.”

After Tottenham’s defeat to Milan, an angry Richarlison hit out at the Italian manager for benching him for the game.

He said: “I didn’t understand – I was playing well, we won against Chelsea and West Ham and suddenly I was on the bench. I played five minutes against Wolves, asked the reason and no-one told me why.

“They asked me to take a fitness test in the gym and told me I was going to start if I passed it. And I was on the bench, there are things I can’t understand.

“There was no explanation again, let’s see what he [Conte] will tell us but I’m not silly – I’m a professional that works hard every day and I want to play.”

Richarlison came on as a substitute with 20 minutes remaining with Spurs needing a goal to force extra time but was unable to make a difference.

“There hasn’t been enough minutes given to me. This season – and forgive my language – has been sh*t,” Richarlison added. “That’s what I didn’t understand, too (being a substitute). It was going well, in a good sequence, two wins against West Ham and Chelsea.

“Suddenly, he (Cristian Stellini) put me on the bench, against Wolverhampton he put me on for five minutes. I asked why? They didn’t tell me anything.”


At the same press conference on Friday, Conte addressed his future at the north London club.

He told reporters: “In this moment, the most important thing is to be focused on the league.

“You know what is my opinion, what is my desire. I say to you a lot of times that the situation that I have found, and we are far to aspire to be competitive to fight to win.

“I repeat this for a long time. We need time and patience. I see the environment has no patience or the environment does not want to see the reality.

“The club knows very well what is my situation and they know what are my thoughts. We can’t do miracles. If I am to take the people as a target. I am not this person. The reality is this.

“We’ll see what happens in the future. I’m not stupid to kill myself. Until the end though I am ready to die for this club but then we’ll see, I’m not too stupid to keep killing myself.”

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