Antonio Conte reveals what he told Richarlison ahead of Marseille clash

Richarlison Antonio Conte
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Antonio Conte revealed that he reminded Richarlison about what he said in his first interview after signing for Tottenham ahead of his Champions League debut.

Richarlison revealed to Spurs TV during the summer that playing Champions League football would be a dream come true and that he could not wait to listen to the competition’s anthem at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Brazilian got an opportunity to live his dream on Wednesday as he started alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in the club’s campaign opener against Marseille.

It turned out to be a fairytale Champions League debut for the former Everton man, who netted a brace to help the Lilywhites pick up all three points against the Ligue 1 club.

Conte revealed that he told Richarlison prior to kick-off that this was his chance to impress on the big stage.

When asked about the forward’s performance, the Italian told Football.London: “I’m very happy for Richi. He deserved to have a night like this.

“I remember when we signed him he said I can’t wait to hear the Champions League music and play in this competition. Not many words but important words for me.

“Today, I remembered this and I said to him, Richi I remembered what you said, this is your chance and you deserved this. Enjoy this and try to do your best. He did his best, and he helped us get three points in a difficult game.”

Conte also remarked that the reason that Tottenham were keen on signing Richarlison this summer was because of the unique skillset he possesses compared to the North London club’s other forward options.

When asked if he always felt the 25-year-old would compliment Kane and Son, the Spurs head coach responded: “We signed Richi because to exploit the best work of this team and to try to support the three strikers.

“When you have Sonny, Harry Kane and Deki last season, behind a player like Lucas who is now injured and a big problem for us, we tried to sign a player that was able to play in all of these three positions.

“For this reason, we had no doubts to sign him. We did this quickly because our idea and our vision was very clear, especially for this reason.

“Richy is more of a striker than Deki but at the same time he can play in Son’s position, Harry Kane’s position, Deki’s position. For us, this is very important because for sure when you make a change you don’t drop the quality in attack.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Richarlison has hardly put a foot wrong in his appearances so far this season and was fully deserving of his goals on Wednesday. The brace will do wonders for his confidence, and I can now see him going from strength to strength for the rest of the season.

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