Cesc Fabregas’ funny Diego Costa tale suggests Antonio Conte isn’t as stubborn as he seems

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Antonio Conte’s announcement as Tottenham manager on Tuesday afternoon sparked excitement, with fans across the nation itching to see him in an English job again. And Cesc Fabregas’ funny story of his time under the Italian has resurfaced, giving Spurs fans an insight as to what he could be like.

Fabregas played for Conte during his two-year spell at Chelsea, holding a key part in his squad despite not starting a whole host of games.

Conte’s system brought about significant results as he ran a tight ship to bring Chelsea their first league title in three seasons.

With Fabregas regularly pulling the strings in behind Costa, it was no surprise Chelsea cruised to the title.

However, it wasn’t always plain sailing for Fabregas under Conte – with the Spaniard needing Costa to tell the manager to use him to gain results.

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“When Conte first came to Chelsea I didn’t really play the first three months,” Fabregas told Chelsea’s official website.

“He made it clear he wanted a different type of midfielder. Nemanja Matic was playing, I had an injury as well and I didn’t really play the whole season.

“But we went to Manchester City, we had won seven games and Conte says to me: ‘You have to play.’

“We won 3-1, I played well and gave the assist to Costa for 1-1. It felt like I had made a point to the coach that he could count on me.


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“But next we played West Brom, Matic recovers and he starts. It was a typical game and for 70 minutes it was 0-0. They were defending well. The game was calling for someone like me to come on to open the door or do something but the minutes went by and nothing.

“I remember Costa coming to the touchline and shouting at Conte, saying: ‘Put Cesc on!’

“Conte is not the manager you mess with this and he was pretending not to listen to Costa. Two minutes later he says ‘Cesc come’, and two minutes after I come on I provided the assist for Costa to score.”

Fabregas played 86 games for Conte, scoring 10 goals along the way as the Blues won the FA Cup and the Premier League.


However, upon the arrival of Maurizio Sarri the year after, the Spaniard only made six appearances before being shipped out to AS Monaco, where he still plays now.

Meanwhile, Costa left the season after being told by Conte that he was not part of his plans via text.

Moving back to Atletico Madrid, he flopped in the Spanish capital with just 12 goals in four seasons, before signing for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil.

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