Antonio Conte: “There Is A Lot Of Road Ahead Before Chelsea Can Win The Champions League’

Antonio Conte: “There Is A Lot Of Road Ahead Before Chelsea Can Win The Champions League’
Jul 29, 2017

Chelsea News

Antonio Conte has warned Chelsea fans that the club may struggle to compete with the elite clubs of Europe in the UEFA Champions League. The Blues make a return to the competition after a one year absence; failing to qualify for it after José Mourinho’s disastrous season in 2015/2016 – the first time in the Roman Abramovich era.

Conte has recruited four players so far this window and is concerned whether the squad is strong enough to take on the European elite. Chelsea lost 3-2 in Singapore last Tuesday to a Bayern Münich side without a number of key players.

“I am excited to play in the Champions League with Chelsea, but I know we have a lot of road ahead before we can compete to try to win the Champions League,” he said.

“We are trying to rebuild a situation and it’s not easy. You need a bit of time to create a structure and to build every season and then to go to fight.”

“Against Bayern Munich, it is very clear, no? We played against a very strong team and don’t forget they had (David) Alaba and (Juan) Bernat on the bench.”

“And seven players at home: (Arjen) Robben, (Joshua) Kimmich, (Arturo) Vidal, Thiago Alcantara, (Manuel) Neuer, (Jerome) Boateng and another strong player.”

The Italian questioned the quality of the players within his ranks. He doubted their ability to match up to bigger teams in the Champions League this coming season. Conte also added that the clubs needs to spend more on quality recruits to stand a chance in Europe this season.

“This is the reality and it is always important to know the reality and then to try and work and try to improve.”

“But the reality is this: Bayern Munich is ready to fight to win the Champions League. Because every season they stay there, and they try to improve the team.”

“For them it is easier now because they have a good structure – you arrive at the end of the season and you sign one or two players to improve your team but you have 17/18 players for a good basis.”

Conte claims that due to injuries, sales and the likely departures of key players Nemanja Matić and Diego Costa, he is struggling for numbers. He says that his squad size will be a disadvantage to them this season.

The 47-year-old spoke Chelsea’s Champions League win in 2012 and said that even though the team had great players, their win was still a big shock in Europe. He suggests it will be even more difficult to repeat another shock triumph in 2017-18, with all those club legends and great players now gone. However, Conte says he is determined to improve upon his record of two quarter-finals with Juventus.

“I remember 2012, when Chelsea won on penalties. They lost a Champions League with on penalties in 2008 and they won a Champions League with the penalties. I think now we are in another era, another period for Chelsea. We must have patience and try to rebuild something important.”

“We started this season with only 11 players and now we bought Bakayoko, Rüdiger, Morata and Caballero.

“But we lost maybe, if you compare the last season, many players and we have to rebuild the situation. We must know that we have to work very hard to rebuild the situation.”

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