Conte responds to Ibrahimovic’s coach/manager comments: “I want to have a say”

By Euan Burns -

Napoli coach Antonio Conte has responded to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s recent comments about the Italian being a manager rather than a coach and not being the right fit for Milan.

Speaking during his press conference as the new Napoli coach today (via Pianeta Milan), the former Inter and Juventus coach was asked about Ibrahimovic’s recent comments.

The Swede said when unveiling Paulo Fonseca as the new Milan boss that the Portuguese was more of a coach than a manager which suits Milan, meaning that he is content with coaching the players at his disposal rather than trying to be involved in the full sporting direction of the club.

“We studied the coach, his game. Then when Fonseca came out you want to meet the person. Face to face. Then you get the feeling, you make demands. You want to improve. Milan has a coach, not a manager. The Conte situation… We haven’t discussed it. He’s not what we were looking for,” Ibrahimovic said.

Conte was asked about these comments and whilst staying respectful, he agreed that he is more of a manager and likes to have a say on certain matters, which may not be welcome everywhere.

“Ibrahimovic’s words? I respect everyone. He said he considers me more of a manager? I consider myself a manager, I want to have a say and maybe somewhere else that might have bothered people,” Conte said.

Tags AC Milan Antonio Conte Zlatan Ibrahimovic


  1. And no other major club came forward for Conte, apparently. Munich even preferred a profile like Kompany. So consider that.

  2. There are only few coaches that should have a say. Coaches who are stable and you can build a long standing project with. Coaches like Pep or Klopp. Conte isn’t one of those coaches.
    He is probably the leading candidate to be the first coach that will be fired or quit in serie A next season.

    1. Klopp is dead— conte is alive! Klopp will Never Train a Team again ! Perhaps a national Team but Not more! Pep is an other Cup of tea! Ibra is Not a Milan legend Like Boban.

      1. Has he actually said that he wont coach again because to my knowledge he has only said that he would take a break for a year. Besides of that I’m pretty sure he has said that he wants to work on a daily basis which hardly can be said about being an international coach but I might be wrong there,

      2. Funny people have conviction to say something about another person’s plan based on news. Do you know him personally? Or professionally at least?

    2. As happy as I am that Conte didn’t sign for us I would argue that all coach are bound to get sacked by De Laurentiis so it might not even be down to Conte doing a bad job but that is a pretty odd collaboration in between the two.

    3. Klopp should be a coach. When he tried to do everything like signing players things took a turn to the worse for liverpool. Darwin nunez and luis diaz which are 2 big flops are the result of him being more than a coach.

    4. @Z I don’t agree with you. Whether we like it or not, Conte is a top coach and has already proven that many times. Won 4x Serie A with two different teams – built foundations of Juventus that toally dominated Italy for almost 10 years, so he definitely can build long term projects. Also won Premier League with Chelsea, that shortly after won Europa League and then Champions League, so as well he didn’t leave ashes but foundations of later improved team.

      He might get fired by Napoli because ADL is a maniac, but if he is given time, money and patience he will build a winning machine.

      1. Dinho: I am on your side! ADL is Crazy like lotito. Conte has developed! I am exited to see him at napoli!
        I also like sarri! I am Not against fonseca but i do Not think that the Yanks will give him the Right Players!

      2. I am not saying that he will be fired because he is not a great coach but because of his need to have a say combined with the owners need to be too involved. They already have problems with players wanting to leave that he wants to keep.

        1. Regardless if you like Conte as a coach or not – what he said was true. Redbird didn’t want a coach who had input in players or transfers. They don’t want a coach who asks to spend $$. They want a yes man like a Pioli was and they found it in Fonseca. They had so much confidence in Fonseca they offered him a one year deal and a below market salary. We will see if it was the correct decision.

    1. A tiger, well that’s a view but i would argue that he is a cry baby if anything and don’t see the comparison with such a majestic animal 😛

          1. No I am searching my answers . I explained that I live Not far from Mainz where Klopp started his Coaching career!and I love his personality

          2. Oh ok, good as it at least wasn’t my intention be rude towards you.

            Ok yeah I also really like Klopp and would have loved had we signed him when he left Mainz for Dortmund as he did showcase a lot of promise already back then.

        1. Conte has got 5 Championship Titels with Juventus and one with Inter and one with Chelsea!
          I do Not like the hate against italian Coaches here!

          1. I have no issues in regard of Italian coaches or players at all and also liked Conte the player but i do dislike the coach mainly because i dislike his style of play combined with him leaving prematurily when things doesn’t goes his way. I’m not saying he is a bad coach but I wouldn’t have him around the club as he also comes with some issues. I recognize he has done well at some clubs but on the same time when he was a juve the league wasn’t really that strong and was pretty much onesided so wining it that many times isn’t as impressive as it would have been in the past or for that matter to some extent currently.

      1. One of them is probably one of the most loyal managers in world football (he is getting the bag though) and the other has left all his clubs on bad terms.

  3. Sometimes I smile when reading response and messages in this platform. I believe its right decision not to Employ Conte even though am a FAN of him. The following coaches will have problem this season De- rossi ( Roma) Conte( Napoli) Inzaghi ( Inter) and Juventus ( Thiago motta. But,this Season will be very very Interesting Mark my Words. 2924/ 2925 season

  4. Do Not understand me in a wrong way! I love Klopp because I live in the Region of Mainz where he started his career! I do Not accept the attacks on italian Coaches, Players and so on! I would prefer Sarri for the bench but everybody Stands to the own opinion! There is no Country with better Coaches in history than Italy. Your holy England is Not able to give the own PL good own Coaches!

  5. Martin: I do not attack you for attacks ! I do Not know your opinion in This Term!Pep has more Money than wach Coach in England and Europa and he needs 8 years for the big title! Juventus is in Italy Blogger than Milan ? There is no Need to blank juve! The italian Serie a is and was strong at every Moment in tactical way! Fonseca own 3 Titels in Ukraine and some Users think he is the Best!

    1. Well that is fair enough but at the time Conte was juve coach while serie a also pretty much got dismantled by milan selling its star players and Napoli also selling cavanni and other players from what i can recollect which in my view at least made it easier for them to establish a monopoly on the league, Tactically italian coaches are strong no question there and i would have preferred one instead of the portguese but ill nevertheless see how Fonseca performs before my final judgment. Had Conte joined us i would have supported him as well but i nevertheless doesnt like his style. Don’t make me say that Juventus is bigger than milan 🙁 but historically speaking in serie a they pretty much is regardless of how much it pains me to say so.

    1. I love capello as well and sacchi, had been hoping for de zerbi or motta but wouldnt have minded xavi either even though not italian.

      1. Turns out no serious team wanted De Zerbi, not even wanted in Brighton he ended up in Marseille which is really unstable environment (even Gattuso was a coach there) and let’s face it, just average team in average league. That shows that maybe he isn’t so good as people here think.

        1. Considering you are advocating conte further up its actually a pretty weak argumentation because there seemingly wasn’t much interest in Conte either and who knows why De Zerbi chose Olympique Marseille.

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