Manager Antonio Conte claims Richarlison “made a mistake” and was “selfish” in an interview given after Tottenham’s Champions League elimination.
After Wednesday’s loss to AC Milan in the round of 16, the 25-year-old attacker appeared to criticize Conte for his lack of playing time this year in an interview with Brazilian TV.
Conte agrees that his season “has not been good,” despite the fact that he feels Richarlison did not criticize him.
The Italian responded, “He’s right.
“He had a promising beginning with us, suffered an injury, left for the World Cup, and suffered yet another major injury.
“He’s had a terrible season, as evidenced by the fact that he hasn’t scored a single goal for us (in the Premier League) and has only netted twice in the Champions League.
“His campaign is still going on. I’ll give him the chance to play if he merits it.”
Richarlison, a Brazilian international, cost Spurs £60 million when he transferred from Everton last summer, but he has only started seven Premier League games since then.
He has played 661 minutes in the Premier League this year, scoring just once for the team against Marseille in the Champions League in September.
He thought he should have started instead of becoming a 70th-minute substitute in Wednesday’s 0-0 tie, which allowed Milan to advance on aggregate.
By Conte “I believe the man realized his error because using the pronouns “I,” “I,” and “I,” rather than “us,” denotes selfishness and a singular focus on oneself.
“I keep telling my players that we must use the pronoun “we” if we are to create something significant, defend something significant, compete fiercely, and succeed.
“If we use the pronouns I, I, and I, we are only considering ourselves. The person apologized and clearly understood, which was fantastic because it gave me the chance to further explain the team’s spirit at a later date.”
“I’m ready to die for this club,” said Conte, “but the end of his loveless Spurs reign is definitely just a formality.”
Spurs are currently fourth in the Premier League, and Conte’s future at the north London club is still up in the air after they were eliminated from both the FA Cup and Europa last week.
The 53-year-contract, old’s which he originally agreed to for 18 months when he was appointed in 2021, is set to expire at the conclusion of the current campaign.
Conte said he is focused on the task at hand despite Spurs’ inability to score in their past three games and persistent criticism.
Conte said in a statement prior to Saturday’s Premier League match against Nottingham Forest: “Would I be willing to die for this club, if you were to ask me now? Yes. I will fight to the last end for this club.
“We entered into a peculiar, one year and a half long contract with the club. Usually you contract for three years but I think it was for the club and for me to see the scenario.
“It was equally important for the club to comprehend my personality, my coaching abilities, and myself personally. to see if we shared the same perspective.
“After a year and a half, the club knows who I am, and I am familiar with the club, so the situation is clear. The season must be completed before we can determine anything.
“The club is completely aware of my opinions. Up to the end of the season, I’ll do anything for this team.”