Inter Team Manager Lele Oriali: “Antonio Conte Conducting A Perfect Ochestra, We Got On Immediately”

Inter Team Manager Lele Oriali: “Antonio Conte Conducting A Perfect Ochestra, We Got On Immediately”
May 22, 2021 12:00
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Lele Oriali only needed five minutes to win Antonio Conte’s trust when the pair first met.

Inter brought Oriali back to the club as their team manager following Conte’s arrival in 2019, but the pair had already worked together with the Italian national team.

Conte took charge of the Azzurri in 2014 and worked with Oriali as Italy reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, where they were beaten by Germany on penalties.

“I got a call in 2014 from Carlo Tavecchio (the Italian Football Federation’s president at the time),” Inter’s former midfielder told Gazzetta dello Sport for Friday’s print edition.

“He said he’d chosen Conte as the new Italy coach and asked if I wanted to be the national side’s team manager.

“I said he probably needed to ask Conte’s opinion first, because I’d never spoken to him in my life before.

“We met in Milan and within five minutes we understood we saw things in the same way.

“We’re both men who struggle for our goals, our careers were based on sweat and sacrifice.

“Conte’s technical and tactical preparation is incredible; without fans in stadiums, you can hear on the TV that Inter are super-organised.

“Antonio is conducting a perfect orchestra, getting the best out of everyone.”

Not everyone is clear on Oriali’s role at Inter, with many believing he is simply the man who calms Conte whenever he loses his temper.

“I’m not part of the team group, I’m the director who represents the club at Appiano Gentile,” Oriali, who won two Serie A titles with the Nerazzuri, explained.

“I take care of the code of conduct, I transfer a sense of belonging and I speak with the players.

“The Pinetina is like my home now, whenever I have a free moment I walk around the nearby woods collecting my thoughts.”

Asked if he had ever argued with Conte, Oriali added: “I’d call them work discussions.

“I’m not a yes man, otherwise I wouldn’t bring anything to the cause.”

Conte and Oriali have been key architects in Inter’s Serie A title triumph this season, but the Nerazzurri’s former midfielder was also keen to praise Conte’s backroom staff.

“They’ve done an incredible job,” he argued.

“I’ve always thought the brilliance of a coach is linked to his ability to surround himself with the right people.

“That’s something I credit Beppe Marotta for as well, in his role as a director.”

By Will Beckman

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