Ex-Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo: “I Approached Conte To Replace Mourinho But Moratti Didn’t Want A Juventino”

Ex-Inter CEO Ernesto Paolillo: “I Approached Conte To Replace Mourinho But Moratti Didn’t Want A Juventino”
April 29, 2021 11:30
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Antonio Conte could have replaced Jose Mourinho as Inter’s head coach after the treble in 2010, a former Nerazzurri director has revealed.

Mourinho left the Nerazzurri almost immediately after they won the UEFA Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu, eventually being replaced by Rafael Benitez.

Ernesto Paolillo was Inter’s chief executive at the time and had a very different idea to Massimo Moratti about who the club should appoint next.

“I thought it would be good to start again from scratch and with a different sort of coach to Benitez,” Paolillo told Calciomercato.com during a Twitch live stream earlier this week.

“Conte was my idea and he remembers it; we talked about it in a stadium after an Inter game.

“We were chatting and I just threw it out there… he had clear ideas.

“The real problem at that moment in time was that Moratti didn’t want to present a Juventus icon to the supporters as Mourinho’s replacement.”

Inter went into a deep decline after their treble triumph as Moratti kept faith with the experienced heads who had won everything under Mourinho.

Paolillo admits he made a big mistake in not pushing through with his idea to dismantle the squad and revamp the team after the Champions League final.

“That’s my biggest regret, because that team (in 2010) was tired and empty,” he rued.

“Mourinho knew that full well and he ran away the same night that we won the Champions League.

“I’ll never forgive him for that.

“I thought we needed to revamp the team for ethical reasons as much as anything, because you can’t win the Champions League and then have your star player (Diego Milito) go on TV and ask for a pay rise.

“But Moratti told me: ‘What happens if we stop winning after having taken apart the squad and the fans blame me for it?'”

Conte did finally join Inter in 2019 and has taken the Nerazzurri back to the top of Serie A, where they will most likely be confirmed as champions during the next fortnight.

By Will Beckman

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