Tuesday November 8 2016
Carrera: ‘Chelsea can win Premier League’

Antonio Conte’s former assistant Massimo Carrera believes Chelsea can win the Premier League, and discusses his life at Spartak Moscow.

The Spartak Coach was assistant at Juventus and Italy, before moving to Russia while Conte went to England.

“Antonio is one of the best in the world, and for me it was like taking a crash course,” Carrera explained to La Stampa.

“It was better than Coaching for a few years in Serie B or C. He can win the Premier League, we talked on Saturday.”

Carrera moved to the Russian Premier League as assistant, but soon become the senior Coach.

“They called me after the Euros. I was sure I could have gone to Chelsea with Conte, and I very much liked the idea, but this was something different.

“In August after the elimination in the Europa League preliminary round and the resignation of [Dmitri] Alenichev, they asked me: ‘do you feel like going on the bench for two games’.

“I tried it, without thinking much about the future. After 12 games we’re top, three points clear of second and seven away from third.

“Our last game? A win in Siberia, four hours and four time zones away. And it was 14 degrees below zero!”

So the climate and geography presents a problem?

“It’s decisive. We played on Saturday and we left on Thursday. I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice.

“In September, we had to play in Khabarovsk in the Russian Cup, it’s along the Trans-Siberian railway, 8,000km from Moscow and 700 from Vladivostok on the sea of Japan.

“It was eight hours on a flight and seven time zones, a horrendous journey. We lost, but it served as a lesson.

“Is it better at home? Not always. Usually we have training at the Spartak training ground where I live, 40km from Moscow. Which would be great apart from one thing: the traffic.

“Two weeks ago we arrived in the city and on Google Maps all the streets were red. We got off the bus and took the subway.

“In Moscow you know when you leave, but you never know when you’ll arrive. Now we stay in a hotel near the stadium.

“The Press? It’s fine, I can’t understand what they write! But I want to start learning Russian.

“Now I speak in Italian, and my interpreter translates it into Russian. I’m lucky to have [Salvatore] Bocchetti here, who has been in Russia for many years.

“The language of football can also be understood with gestures.

“Vodka? All alcohol is banned at the training ground, I’d hope it’s the same at home…”