Tottenham star Richarlison has revealed Antonio Conte ‘scolded’ him for two hours in front of the Spurs squad after the Brazil international complained about a lack of game time in an interview last season.
Richarlison was Tottenham’s big-money signing last summer, joining from Everton in a £55m deal, but he failed to get going at Spurs in his first season, eventually getting off the mark in the Premier League at the end of April with a goal against Liverpool.
His lack of goals, or indeed assists – he managed just four – can be in part explained by his lack of game time.
The Brazil international started just 12 Premier League games in his debut campaign for Spurs, and came out publicly to ask for more game time, in what manager Antonio Conte claimed was a “selfish interview”.
Conte said: “First of all I watched the interview of Richarlison. He didn’t criticise me. He said his season was s*** and he’s right.
“His season has been not good. He had injuries, played and scored in the Champions League and then went to the World Cup and then had a serious injury.
“He’s scored no goals for us. I think he was really honest to say his season was not good. His season has not finished yet. If he deserves to play I’ll give him the opportunity. For the rest of the interview, I think he made a mistake. When you speak of ‘I’ and not ‘us’ you are being selfish.”
And Richarlison has now revealed that Conte didn’t just hit out at him in public.
Speaking to the Que Papinho podcast, he said: “I made a mistake in granting an interview in which I asked to play more. Later, I apologised and said he could punish me.
“He replied that he was the boss and he went on to prove it to me. He spent almost two hours scolding me in front of everyone in a team meeting.”