Antonio Conte: When Diego Costa and David Luiz took Italian away from Chelsea presser in 2017

  • Rob Swan

Remember the time Antonio Conte was dragged away from a press conference by David Luiz and Diego Costa during his time as Chelsea manager?

Conte, who now finds himself managing Tottenham following his appointment on Tuesday, got the best out of both Luiz and Costa during his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea re-signed Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain but the Brazilian centre-back earned a place in the 2016-17 PFA Team of the Year that season.

Costa, meanwhile, ended the campaign with 20 Premier League goals.

Conte’s Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions that season following a 1-0 win away at West Brom.

The Blues’ Italian coach was tossed high into the air by his jubilant squad after the final whistle. His popularity with the squad was clear to see.


Video: Conte 'abducted' from press conference by Costa & Luiz

While he was conducting his post-match press conference at the Hawthorns, Costa and Luiz burst in and ‘abducted’ Conte out of the room.

Watch the funny video here:

Players can get away with just about anything with their managers after winning a league title.

What Antonio Conte told Diego Costa weeks later

Just several weeks after this celebratory day, however, Conte stunned Costa by sending him a text message.

Costa was informed by Conte at the start of June 2017 that he was no longer in the club’s plans, despite impressing during the previous campaign.

"I'm a Chelsea player, but they do not want me there," Costa told reporters at the time, per BBC Sport.

"Antonio Conte has told me by message that I do not follow at Chelsea and that's it. Conte said he did not count on me for next season."


Conte’s text message reportedly said: "Hi Diego, I hope you are well. Thanks for the season we spent together. Good luck for the next year but you are not in my plan."


The pair had been involved in a furious training ground row in January 2017. Conte reportedly said ‘go to China’ at Costa before dropping the Spain international for a Premier League clash against Leicester City.

Costa may have thought their relationship had recovered by the time they’d won the title together, but Conte clearly saw things differently.


David Luiz also fell out of favour with Antonio Conte

Luiz, meanwhile, also fell out of favour with Conte the following season and was limited to just 10 Premier League starts.

In August 2018, shortly after Conte had been sacked and replaced by Maurizio Sarri, Luiz admitted he would have left Stamford Bridge if the same manager had remained in charge.

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