Antonio Conte issues statement thanking Chelsea

Conte was sacked by Chelsea last Friday after two years in charge

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has released a statement thanking Chelsea's staff for their "hard work and support" during his time at the club.

Conte was sacked as Chelsea head coach on Friday, with former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri named as his successor a day later following a protracted on-off move to the Premier League.

Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title during his first year in charge but they were unable to defend their crown last season, finishing fifth in the table before beating Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

"I would like to thank all of my friends at Chelsea Football Club for their hard work and support over the past two seasons which enabled us to win the Premier League and FA Cup together," Conte said in a statement issued through the League Managers Association (LMA).

"To the players, whose talent and commitment was so important to our successes, I thank them for everything. It has been a pleasure working with them every day.

"To my staff, who always worked so hard, I must say thank you and well done for their professionalism and dedication throughout.

"I have enjoyed my time in England and London so much and I want to thank the Chelsea fans who have been amazing to me and my family.

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"It was fantastic for me to be able to share my emotions, passion and enthusiasm throughout two unforgettable seasons with these amazing Chelsea supporters, who will always stay in my heart.

"I hope Chelsea will continue to be successful and I wish everyone well for next season.

"I have made many memories during my time with Chelsea, which I will take with me into my next challenge."

Conte showed his tactical nous during his debut season in the Premier League as his Chelsea side became the first to win the title with a 3-4-3 formation, winning a then-record 30 of their 38 matches and going on a 13-match winning run along the way.

LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan said: "Antonio made an immediate impact when he arrived in the Premier League two years ago.

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"His energy and enthusiasm for football has been infectious and it has been a privilege to have one of the best coaches in the world working in the Premier League to raise the standard of the league and his players at Chelsea.

"His record as a manager speaks for itself, with a record-breaking Premier League season and FA Cup title to look back on with pride.

"Antonio is hugely respected by his peers within the English game, who voted him as LMA Manager of the Year in 2017.

"We have no doubt that Antonio will go on to achieve many more successes in his career."

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