Conte amazed by Cassano attack

Juventus coach Antonio Conte was surprised to hear of the wide-ranging criticisms of his behaviour as well as that of the club's players by Inter Milan's Antonio Cassano.

Antonio Cassano of Inter Milan

By staff

The controversial Italian was annoyed at having heard that Conte had dismissed him for being "all talk" during a live webchat with Juve fans. 

He retaliated fiercely in an interview with Sport Mediaset, criticising Conte for his part with the match-fixing activities at former club Siena. Although Conte did not directly get involved in any manner during the 2010/11 season, he was deemed culpable for failing to warn the authorities of the activities within the club and slapped with a 10-month touchline ban. 

“Conte said I’m all talk? I’m not the one who is suspended for failing to report match-fixing,” the Italy international commented. 

“I have done many silly things in my career, the so-called ‘Cassanate,’ for which I have also been banned.

“However, if Conte starts talking to me about morality then it’s the end of the world."

In the strongly-worded interview Cassano went on to state that the Bianconeri would only ever hire "little soldiers", or players happy to be subservient to the coach's every demand. 

Conte chose to reply through the official Juventus website and stated, "I was astounded to read the statements from Mr Cassano, following which I am forced to make certain clarifying points. 

“First of all I never used the term morality, despite the fact I have it in spades. I have already expressed my opinion on the ban for failing to report match-fixing in the past.

"When asked how I choose players for Juventus, I said we look to the man, by which I meant how he interprets the role of a footballer in a professional manner. 

“That means effort, commitment, respecting the rules and the roles of others, plus caring about the common good of the team.

“I think that Mr Cassano has already shown many times over his career both on and off the field – such as his impressions of Fabio Capello at Real Madrid or insulting gestures at referee Roberto Rosetti and other incidents – that he does not have the requisite characteristics I am looking for."

Inter are currently hot on the heels of league leaders Juventus with just four points separating the two in the Serie A. 

Cassano featured in Inter's 3-1 win over Juventus last month which remains the only domestic defeat Conte has had to endure while in charge of the Bianconeri. 

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