Speaking to Italian television after Barcelona v Chelsea, Antonio Conte revealed what he said to Leo Messi after the final whistle on the pitch:
“They were mainly congratulations, we speak about a player who always makes the difference and decides the scores, he was decisive in these two games,” the Italian coach claimed.
Then he continued speaking of the tie and the elimination:
“I think the 4 posts hit in the two matches marked a difference, we weren’t very lucky – and it wasn’t the first time in this season- I think tonight’s score is unfair, we created many chances and they scored 3 goals in 3 counter-attacks, they were really cynical: this team is playing Champions League for the first time, it’s a young team and there is much work to do.”
Asked if he needs a trophy like FA Cup to stay at Chelsea, Conte replied:
“It’s not to win something or not, a coach’s job must be judged not by the wins but by what you see, to the team’s growth, we can do better in all the aspects: I don’t look for confirmation through the victories but I go ahead because I know it’s a hard work.
Conte was then asked why he preferred to started Giroud rather than Morata:
“I see the players every day and I know who feels better psychologically and physically.
“We are speaking of a young player [Morata] that had the chance to be a starter for the first time during this season. In Real Madrid he was Benzema‘s reserve and the same he was for other strikers at Juventus. He’s got some qualities and we are trying to improve him. This season had a back problem that limited him.”