ANTONIO CONTE has broken his silence following his axing at Tottenham as he thanked fans – but also appeared to throw a thinly-veiled jibe in the club’s direction.
The Italian left Spurs yesterday after a week of speculation that he was set to be dismissed.
The announcement came last night eight days after Conte’s final game in charge – a chaotic 3-3 draw with Southampton.
The 53-year-old has now released a statement on his Instagram page 24 hours later as he thanked Spurs supporters in a classy message but also seemed to fire a barb at the club.
He said: “Football is passion. I would like to deeply thank everyone at Spurs who appreciated and shared my passion and my intense way of living football as a coach.”
His intriguing comment comes after his fiery rant where he attacked “selfish” players and hit out at the club’s lack of success.
Reports in the next few days indicated that his relationship with the players had completely broken down with several wanting him sacked.
Conte added: “A special thought to the fans who always showed me support and appreciation, it’s been unforgettable to hear them singing my name.
“Our journey together has ended, I wish you all the best for the future.”
Conte was appointed head coach in November 2021 as he looked to steady the ship after Nuno Espirito Santo’s brief but troubled reign.
He managed to get the club into the top four despite their poor start but fans quickly grew uneasy about the style of football.
Concerns over the manager from sections of the fanbase only grew this season while results grew increasingly inconsistent.
Conte also had to deal with health issues which saw him miss a handful of games earlier this year.
The former Chelsea manager often voiced frustration with the club and transfers during press conferences.
His grievances reached a head following last week’s game at St Mary’s when Conte unleased his now infamous rant.
His replacement until the end of the season will be Cristian Stellini, the assistant manager who had to stand in for the boss while he underwent and recovered from gallbladder surgery.
The north London club are reported to be in no rush to find a permanent successor.
This is despite the fact that three of the biggest names linked to the hot seat – Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann – are all currently free agents.
It is possible several big clubs could be soon looking at the trio with the sackings of Nagelsmann and Conte over the past few days potentially triggering a managerial merry go round in Europe.