Conte: An Important Game


Antonio Conte says Chelsea will go all out for the victory which will guarantee top spot in Champions League Group C when we take on Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

With 10 points to our name, the Blues have already qualified and will secure first place with a win or if Roma do not pick up three points from their home match against Qarabag. If Atletico are to have any chance of progressing, they must beat us while also relying on the Italian side failing to win.

For Conte, the most important thing is maintaining our positive run of form, in which we have lost only once in our last 11 outings in all competitions, with eight of them ending in victories.

‘I think this game is important because we are playing against Atletico Madrid and they have shown in the past to be an important team in this tournament,’ he said. ‘Now there is a risk they will be eliminated, but we have to play a good game, to improve our confidence, and because we want to reach the first position in our group.

‘But if you arrive first, you could then get teams like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus. It doesn’t change a lot if you arrive first or second. The most important thing is to reach the next stage, but for our mission and our confidence, it would be right to win and arrive first.’

Following last Friday’s World Cup draw, Conte has also spoken about the prospect of several of his players featuring when England play Belgium: ‘For sure I will support my players and for this reason, Belgium, England, Brazil and so on. I will try to watch the game and I think it will be great to see my players against each other.

‘For sure, the World Cup is a great tournament – the best in the world – and in this tournament you can show your ability and your skills, and that you are at the top of the players. I think this is a fantastic chance for every great player to show his ability.

‘I don’t think Eden Hazard is in the peak of his career. I think he has a lot of improvement. He is a young player and it is important for him to work, work, work and show dedication to improve himself.

‘You are at the top when you win the Ballon D’Or, when you win the Champions League, when you win the World Cup and so on. In that moment you are at the top, otherwise you are only a great player.’

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