Ex-Napoli Forward Gianfranco Zola: “Conte Wants Champions League Glory, Inter Fans Will Welcome Mourinho”
Inter have the foundations in place to win many more trophies with Antonio Conte, according to former Napoli and Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola.
The Nerazzurri were confirmed as Serie A winners with four games to spare last weekend, ending the club’s 10-year wait for a major trophy.
Conte is not yet certain to continue as Inter’s head coach but Zola thinks the future looks bright for the newly crowned champions.
“It’ll be difficult to repeat Juventus’ run of titles, but Inter built a base to win consistently,” Zola, who also played for Parma and Cagliari in Italy, told Gazzetta.it today.
“Antonio is a coach who belongs in the category of managers who can change teams.
“I’d call him a ‘transformer’; you can say what you like about his style of play, he’s extraordinary.”
Conte has arguably pulled off the greatest achievement of his career by leading Inter back to winning ways, following three Serie A titles with Juventus and one Premier League title at Chelsea.
Asked what Inter’s triumph added to his reputation as a coach, Zola argued: “This is his crowning achievement.
“He’s proven he’s a winner once again.
“Now I think there’ll be new steps for him – I think he has the ambition to win the UEFA Champions League.”
Conte will be pitted against an old foe in Serie A next season (if he stays at Inter), after Roma confirmed Jose Mourinho would become their next head coach.
Zola was asked to compare the two coaches and suggested: “I think they’re very good coaches but different.
“Their point of contact is that they’re both extremely demanding and have an enormous personality.”
Mourinho will return to San Siro as an opponent for the first time since leaving Inter in 2010, and there are conflicting views on what kind of reception the Special One will receive.
“I expect affection and gratitude from the Inter fans, even if Mourinho will be coaching the opposition for 90 minutes,” Zola added.
“Mourinho gave them lots, I’m really curious to see what will happen.”