Sunday May 2 2021
Marotta: 'Conte right man at right time'

Inter director Beppe Marotta explains why Antonio Conte was worth his €12m per season salary, his toughest transfer and why he parted company with Juventus.

It was Marotta and Conte who started the nine-year winning streak for Juventus, then they reunited to end it and perhaps begin a new era at Inter.

“There was a consistent and clear gap between Inter and Juventus when I arrived. Having won the Scudetto with four rounds to spare should be seen not as a sign of the errors made by our opponents, but the credit given to Inter,” Marotta told Sky Sport italia.

“We could potentially reach 94 points, which would be a very impressive tally. Conte deserves a great deal of credit, as he brought important sporting values from a winning career as player and coach and passed them on to these lads. None of them had won a title before other than Arturo Vidal.

“This achievement is down to a great leader like Conte.”

Marotta was criticised at first when bringing in Conte, not just because of his Juventus past, but also his massive €12m per season salary.

“My philosophy is that it is better to buy one less player and invest in a great coach. The wages he is on are reflected by the trophy cabinet and his CV.

“I proposed Conte to Inter because I felt he was the right man at the right time. We had already won three Serie A titles together at Juventus, so we know each other very well.

“That means I also knew full well that some of his statements to the media were to motivate the club and push us forward. He wanted to make more rapid progress and we were a little slower, but he was pushing us to achieve something important together.

“I much prefer someone like Conte who says things to your face rather than those who refuse to tell you how things really are.”

Speaking of which, Marotta was asked why he left Juventus so abruptly.

“I didn’t leave Juventus. There was a consensual termination of the contract. When the club owners have certain needs and there is a transparent discussion in which some situations emerge, it’s only right that the manager takes a step back.

“The announcement was on Saturday and I received a message from Inter President Steven Zhang on Sunday, so I immediately accepted this new challenge.”

What was Marotta’s most difficult moment at Inter over the last two years?

“There were many issues. The most difficult transfer negotiation was certainly Romelu Lukaku, but Conte was convinced that he would make a big difference and he was right.”

Conte has not yet committed his future to Inter, although Marotta seems to believe that they will continue together.

“When it comes to opening a new era, we have already solved one problem with the arrival of a coach like Conte who brings guarantees.

“The pandemic does give us financial concerns, so we need to make some adjustments when it comes to costs, but we’ll talk about that later. We want to enjoy this extraordinary moment.

“It’d be wonderful to win the Scudetto again next season, as that would be the 20th and give Inter a second star on the jersey.”