Cesc Fabregas reacts to Antonio Conte Tottenham appointment – ‘I hate to say it’

Antonio Conte: In profile

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Arsenal and Chelsea hero Cesc Fabregas couldn’t help but praise Tottenham for their appointment of Antonio Conte as their new head coach. Conte was announced by Spurs at 12pm on Tuesday on an 18-month deal with the option of a further year. The Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo who was sacked on Monday morning.

Conte had been out of work since leaving Inter Milan at the end of last season.

The 52-year-old led Inter to their first Serie A title in 10 years last term.

He has been a serial winner at other previous clubs such as Chelsea and Juventus.

Fabregas played under Conte for two years at Chelsea and won the Premier League in 2017.

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So there are not many better to give their opinion on Spurs’ appointment.

And despite the rivalry he’s had over the years with Tottenham, he had to give credit where it was due.

He tweeted: “I hate to say it but what an appointment by Spurs.”

Fabregas has previously named Conte as one of the toughest managers he’s worked under and said he proved him wrong during his time at Chelsea.

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He tweeted in April 2020: “(Managers who) really taught me in different moments and for different reasons (not only footballing), I would say Wenger and Conte.

“Arsene technically and Conte mentally and he also made a player that I didn’t know I could be.

“I meant on the defensive point of view. Also, mentally he made me work harder than ever at 29 as he told me I wasn’t his type of player.

“And I still went on to prove him wrong and ended up playing every game. Tactically u have to play the way he likes and that was also very new for me.”

Conte’s first game in charge of Spurs is set to be the Europa Conference League match at home to Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday.

Following his appointment, Conte explained why he turned down Spurs in the summer when first approached over the job.

“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again,” he told the official Spurs website.

“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.

“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching.

“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”

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