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Spurs star Antonio Conte after UCL exit

Tottenham Hotspur star hits out at Antonio Conte after Champions League exit

March 8, 2023 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The striker did not hold back with his criticism of his side's manager following Wednesday night's elimination.

Brazilian striker Richarlison had some harsh words for his manager Antonio Conte following Tottenham Hotspur's elimination from the UEFA Champions League. The 25-year-old striker has questioned the selection of the Italian coach after starting on the bench in Tuesday night's 0-0 draw with AC Milan which saw their side exit the Round of 16 stage of the competition.

The goalless draw at Tottenham Stadium on Wednesday night was enough to condemn Spurs to another exit from the European cup competition after failing to erode the 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Milan. In hindsight, the host's passive approach was generally to blame, as they barely threatened their visitors from Italy. Many fans have since questioned the ambition of the London club who are still struggling to win a silverware after their Carabao Cup success in 2008.

With tempers flaring, striker Richarlison has hit out at Antonio Conte for putting him on the bench for the mid-week encounter. The 25-year-old striker who joined the club for an approximate fee of $71M last summer, was introduced into the game inside the 70th minute for Emerson Royal, but barely made any significant contributions.

This season, the former Everton striker has struggled for playing time, managed 12 starts out of his 25 games, failing to score in 17 Premier League games within that period. In an explosive post-match interview with TNT Sports Brazil, Richarlison questioned Conte for not using him as a started despite featuring in the recent wins over London rivals West Ham and Chelsea.

"That's what I didn't understand, too (being a substitute). It was going well, in a good sequence, two wins against West Ham and Chelsea.

"Suddenly, he (Cristian Stellini) put me on the bench, against Wolverhampton he put me on for five minutes. I asked why? They didn't tell me anything.

"And, yesterday, they asked me to take a test at the gym, that if I was good I would go to the game and, at the time of the game, they left me on the bench. These are things that it is not possible to understand.

"Let's see what he (Conte) will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either, I'm a professional, I work every day and I want to play. There are minutes left, time left.

"This season, excuse the word, it's been s***, because I don't have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury. But, when I enter the field, I give my life. I came from two games well, I think that's it, I think I should have played and I don't have to cry about it."

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