Chelsea

  • Hazard unfazed by comparisons to 'leader...

    Chelsea star Eden Hazard is unfazed by where he ranks among the world's best but believes greater leadership can move him closer to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The story behind Diego Costa's rise Hazard, 26, is widely considered one of the best players in the world, alt...

    Hazard unfazed by comparisons to 'leaders' Messi, Ronaldo

    Chelsea star Eden Hazard is unfazed by where he ranks among the world's best but believes greater leadership can move him closer to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The story behind Diego Costa's rise Hazard, 26, is widely considered one of the best players in the world, although below two clear standouts in Messi and Ronaldo. While the Belgium international has little interest in the discussion, he said Barcelona great Messi and Real Madrid star Ronaldo were leaders. "People are always talking, I don't care about that. I try to be the best I can," Hazard told UK newspapers. "In the world I'm not alone — they have some good, good players. I don't know if I am top five, top 10, top 20. It's not my target. I just want to enjoy my football. "Players like Ronaldo and Messi are leaders. They are people that want to be better every day. That's why they are at the top for the last 10 years. "They need to prove — we all need to prove — every day, but I don't think too much about that. I just concentrate on myself, on football, on the pitch, on the training ground. Then I will see." A two-time Premier League champion, Hazard can add the FA Cup to his collection when Chelsea face Arsenal in Saturday's final. With John Terry leaving Stamford Bridge at season's end, Hazard said the next generation of Chelsea players had a chance to step up. "The last 10 years in Chelsea, it was great," he said. "They won a lot of trophies, now it's like a new generation. Frank Lampard is finished, Didier Drogba is finished, Ashley Cole, John Terry now. So it's a new generation. "We have a couple of leaders — I try to be one on the pitch. All of the players, they are ready, they are 100 per cent. We will see."

  • David Luiz's comeback at Chelsea has pro...

    Antonio Conte says that Chelsea's decision to re-sign David Luiz has been vindicated as he reflects on the initial criticism the club received for the move.  Luiz returned to the Blues in a £32 million deal from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and the Brazil international rece...

    David Luiz's comeback at Chelsea has proved everyone wrong, says Conte

    Antonio Conte says that Chelsea's decision to re-sign David Luiz has been vindicated as he reflects on the initial criticism the club received for the move.  Luiz returned to the Blues in a £32 million deal from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and the Brazil international recently revealed that he regarded the move as a risk, as he took a pay-cut to return.  Conte bought his journalists lunch over his lateness Chelsea were criticised for making a 'panic buy' as they signed Luiz in the final hours of the summer transfer window, while the 30-year-old was doubted over his playing style. Conte thinks that his critics have gone quiet and that Luiz has been important to his side's success.  “I think David arrived here in Chelsea with a lot of criticism," Conte said at a news briefing at Cobham Training Ground. "Not only for him, but also for me and the club. But I think David showed himself to be a great player. "I think he's one of many players who has been a key player for us. When we changed and started to play with him in the middle of the three centre-backs, this choice was very good. I think this suited him perfectly. "He had a great season. Now, I hope [for more], we have another game to go. I spoke with him and we have to finish this great season and make it a fantastic season." 

  • Abramovich trusted me - even after Arsen...

    Chelsea's 3-0 loss to Arsenal has been described as the most pivotal moment of the club's season and Antonio Conte revealed what happened as Roman Abramovich took a closer interest in his manager.  Conte pays respect to Wenger's Arsenal career The Russian billionaire came to wa...

    Abramovich trusted me - even after Arsenal defeat, insists Conte

    Chelsea's 3-0 loss to Arsenal has been described as the most pivotal moment of the club's season and Antonio Conte revealed what happened as Roman Abramovich took a closer interest in his manager.  Conte pays respect to Wenger's Arsenal career The Russian billionaire came to watch three first-team training sessions in a row in September and had a few lunch meetings with Conte at Cobham Training Centre after the loss.  Conte decided to switch to a 3-4-3 formation after the defeat and drilled his players in the new formation which led to a 13-match winning run across the autumn and winter fixtures. The Blues manager revealed that Abramovich never lost faith in him and said that he was supportive as Conte overhauled the team's tactics. “He came for three days to watch our training sessions, to watch the video analysis, to stay with us. He supported me," Conte said at a news conference at Cobham Training Centre. "He never showed me he was angry. "I think the club always saw my job, during pre-season and in that period, and trusted in my job. I never thought the club was thinking about sacking me. Honestly.” Speculation grew that Conte was set for a sensational sacking after Abramovich's visits to the training ground and several bookmakers in the United Kingdom had suspended the betting on him leaving Chelsea, as they believed his exit was guaranteed.  Diego Costa almost quit football Abramovich has been as engaged as ever with Chelsea this season, attending Conte's first game as manager in pre-season versus Rapid Vienna, while he was seen chanting Conte's name and lifting the Premier League trophy against Sunderland last weekend.  Conte has delivered success to the club's owner by switching to a three-man defence that he used while he was the manager of Juventus. However, the Italian admitted that he did doubt his side's title chances after the loss at the Emirates Stadium. “It was very difficult to think about celebrating winning the league after the Arsenal defeat," he added. "To think we'd arrive at the end of the season and be celebrating winning the league. Honestly, that felt very difficult. "Not impossible but, in that period, we had a lot of big problems to solve. To find the right solution quickly is not easy. You must be very good, very prepared, but also lucky in these circumstances. "And you must also have the players to give you the possibility to impose your ideas, your changes, and everything you are thinking in that moment. For that reason, I was lucky to have a group of players who put themselves in Chelsea and my ideas of football, and we put ourselves in a position where we could secure a fantastic title and celebrate. "At the start of the season, if you'd said we could qualify for the Champions League, I'd have signed for that. Then I found great players, and we were able to change our season.” Batshuayi good enough to replace Costa Chelsea will return to the Champions League and they will go into pot one with the champions from various leagues across Europe. Conte has already raised a glass of champagne to toast winning the title in his first season but celebrations were relatively subdued on Sunday as the club capped off their league season with a 5-1 win over Sunderland.  Conte went to a Fulham restaurant with his staff after the 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, which secured the league title, but he admits he may do something special if he achieves a double.  “I don't like champagne a lot," Conte continued. "I celebrated, for sure, with my staff. We had a dinner together, and we had 'cheers'. It's right to enjoy this moment because if you win after a strong season like this, it's right to enjoy it.  "The low from a defeat is longer than the high after a win. I don't smoke, but tomorrow I'm hoping to smoke a cigar if we win. I'm ready to do this.”

  • Better late than never! Conte buys journ...

    Antonio Conte hosted a lunch for journalists after his pre-match press conference for the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday to apologise for his persistent lateness this season. Evra tells Carrick: I'm coming home! The 47-year-old has become well known for running late a...

    Better late than never! Conte buys journalists lunch after repeated tardiness

    Antonio Conte hosted a lunch for journalists after his pre-match press conference for the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday to apologise for his persistent lateness this season. Evra tells Carrick: I'm coming home! The 47-year-old has become well known for running late at his Friday media briefings but he put on a buffet at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening. The buffet took place in a corporate box that is next door to the one used by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. The Premier League trophy was brought out for pictures and the Chelsea manager spoke openly about adjusting to life in London since moving from Italy in the summer.  Conte also spoke about bringing his family to England in the summer after reiterating his desire to stay with the newly crowned Premier League champions during his press conference.  He then had to rushed off to make the team bus that left for Wembley after the media lunch as he focused on winning a league and cup double. 

  • He's one of the greatest - Conte does no...

    Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has hailed Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger as one of the best managers in history and does not believe the Frenchman will be taking charge of his last Gunners game in Saturday's FA Cup final. The Blues are aiming to complete a Premier League and FA C...

    He's one of the greatest - Conte does not expect Wenger to leave Arsenal

    Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has hailed Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger as one of the best managers in history and does not believe the Frenchman will be taking charge of his last Gunners game in Saturday's FA Cup final. The Blues are aiming to complete a Premier League and FA Cup double in the Wembley showpiece, having dominated all comers in the top flight this term. Manchester City set to sign Bernardo Silva By contrast, Wenger has faced continued calls from disgruntled fans for him to end his nigh on 21-year tenure at Arsenal following another unsuccessful title bid and failing to qualify for next season's Champions League. However, Conte offered his support to Wenger and says too often in modern football people have short memories. "I know very well the Arsenal history in the FA Cup. They won a lot of trophies in this competition, I have never won it," Conte told a pre-match news conference. "It is a good opportunity for me to lift it. I don't trust that [Saturday] will be the last game for Arsene. "He has done a good job and only this season they missed the Champions League. Sometimes you can undervalue this, they played 19 years in a row in this competition, it shows that his work is very good. "When you stay for so long time in a great team, we must consider him one of the best managers in history. "I repeat, we must pay great attention in modern football." This week, former Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli stated he wants Conte to remain in charge at Stamford Bridge for 25 years. Valencia signs new Man Utd deal Conte, while reiterating his wish to stay at Chelsea for the foreseeable future, has doubts over the ability to stay at one club for such a long period in the present era, like Wenger has done. "It would be great to do this, but in modern football it is difficult to stay in the same club," he added. "But if you stay for many years and improve your club it is the best solution to build something important. "Modern football is dangerous and our job depends a lot on the result. The only way that I know to convince the club to stay for a long time is to work. For sure it is my hope."

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