Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte has a few ambitions in his debut season with the Blues. Interestingly, one of them appears to be to deny victory to a familiar foe.
Italian manager Antonio Conte was one of the driving forces behind Juventus’ rise to the top of the Serie A in recent years. He managed the Bianconeri to their first Scudetto title since they were punished with relegation due to a match fixing scandal in 2006.
The new Blues manager recently recalled the season as the best in his career, as he denied Zlatan the Serie A to end the Swedish striker’s eight-year title-winning streak.
“It was fantastic,” said Conte, according to the Daily Mail. “We started the season as the underdog and the Press had us down for sixth or seventh place in the table. Milan had Zlatan, it was the only season when he didn’t win the championship and I hope this season is the same again.”
The Italian joined Juventus after a historic season by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in which they won the domestic league, cup and the UEFA Champions League.
“Inter had won the treble in the season before under Mourinho…In that period we were the underdogs and we won our first title unbeaten — and the Cup,” continued Conte.
The 2011-12 season remains the only one in 13 years in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not win the league title. The Swede won his first Eredivisie title with Ajax in 2001-02, repeating the feat two years later. He then moved to the Serie A and Juventus, winning back-to-back titles with the Old Lady. However, these were revoked because of the Italian football scandal of 2006. Zlatan then moved to Inter and enjoyed a three-year Scudetto winning streak there.
Jose Mourinho was the manager who sold him to Barcelona in 2009, and he joined Inter’s cross-town rivals AC Milan after winning a La Liga title with the Catalan club. Zlatan won the title in his debut season there as well, before Conte took over in Turin. He then joined Paris Saint-Germain and added four Ligue 1 titles in France to his resume.
The Swedish striker now faces the man who cost him the Serie A title and what would have been a historic 13-year winning streak. It remains to be seen if Conte can deny the iconic forward once again — this time in the Premier League.