Antonio Conte hits back at Jose Mourinho 'clown' comments

Tyler Owen
January 6, 2018

Chelsea reportedly want Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simone to replace Antonio Conte if the Italian leaves at the end of the season.

Conte also renewed his attack on Mourinho with a barely-disguised criticism of his own, referring to "other persons" who regularly turn their weekly news conferences into a spectacle.

"But what never happened to me - and will never happen - is to be suspended for match-fixing".

The gloves are well and truly off now in the escalating row between Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte.

On Thursday, Mourinho said he did not need to act like a "clown" on the sidelines to prove his commitment to his club. Probably the journalist wanted to say that but didn't have the courage, so he said 'Mourinho said you behaved like a clown'.

"I think he has to see himself in the past - maybe he was speaking about himself in the past".

The 54-year-old claimed that he would never be banned for match-fixing, which came off as a reply to Conte's wild assertion that Mourinho was losing his mind and was suffering from demenza.

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"Maybe, sometimes, I think that someone forgets what's said in the past, which is his behavior". Press should apologize to me and him. "I was speaking about myself, saying I don't need to behave like a clown to show passion".

Conte has clashed with the Chelsea hierarchy over the club's transfer policy, and the 48-year-old was unhappy with their recruitment in the summer. Question completely wrong and because of that, an out of control reaction.

Conte was acquitted in 2016 of charges of not stopping a match-fixing scandal when in charge of Sienna in 2011, per Reuters (h/t Sky Sports).

Speaking after his side's 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Derby, Mourinho said the "clown" comments were not directed at Conte.

Conte couldn't resist responding to the former Chelsea boss and used the Italian phrase "demenza senile" in relation to the Portuguese, which translates as senile dementia.

"I know that I celebrated goals running 50 metres, that I celebrated goals sliding on my knees, I got celebrations jumping to the crowd, I'm not free of that especially if we score a winning goal in a specific moment, I'm not free to have an out of control reaction but what I was trying to say was I behaved bad a few times and in this moment I control myself much better, doesn't mean that my passion is not the same".

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