Ernesto Valverde believes Antonio Conte is among the best managers in the world
Chelsea host Barcelona on Tuesday in the Round of 16 tie of the Champions League. The match comes at a crucial juncture for Antonio Conte who has been under extreme pressure of late. Chelsea has not had the best of 2018 and the cup competitions remain their only form of respite after a tough run of results in the league.
Speaking before the match, Valverde was full of praise for the Italian tactician, branding him as one of the best in the world. As quoted by the Evening Standard, Valverde said, “He is one of the best managers in the world with a good record, not just what he did at Chelsea.”
“You can see the quality of his coaching in the teams that he coaches. He’s got the classic Italian qualities.”
SKYSPORTS Valverde salutes 'quality' Conte Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde labelled Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte as "one of the best managers in the world" ahead of Tuesday's showdown in the Champions League. https://t.co/Vtdm48PMd8
— Chelsea FC RSS Feeds (@CFCrss) February 19, 2018
The tie against Barcelona could be crucial in deciding Conte’s future at the Stamford Bridge. Should Chelsea manage to knock the Catalans out, Conte would have earned a stay of execution. Else the end of his tenure as a Chelsea manager could come before the season’s end.
Several managers have been linked with the top job at Chelsea including Ernesto Valverde’s predecessor Luis Enrique. The treble-winning manager is currently on a year-long sabbatical but is still the preferred choice for the Chelsea board. Other names being linked with the Blues’ top job are Massimiliano Allegri, Diego Simeone and even Marco Silva.
Barca vs Chelsea has a lot of history attached to it. Conte would like to another chapter to that by securing a win over their much-fancied opponents. Barcelona is among the favourites to win the Champions League and if Conte’s men manage to knock them over at such an early stage, not only would they become one of the favourites themselves but also dampen the rumours of their manager being linked with the exit door.