Antonio Conte reveals moment he "regretted" taking Chelsea job

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Antonio Conte's tenure as Chelsea manager has been full of ups and downs so far, but there are certainly enough positive signs to suggest that the Italian has the Blues moving in the right direction.

After an inconsistent start that included a humbling 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, Chelsea are currently in fifth place in the Premier League after consecutive wins over Manchester United and Leicester in which they scored seven goals without conceding.

However, whilst Conte is excited about lies ahead in west London, the former Juventus manager has revealed that one moment over the summer actually had him regretting taking the Stamford Bridge job.

Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports Italia, the translation of which has been relayed by ESPN, Conte admitted that the bond he had formed with his Italy squad during Euro 2016 meant he briefly questioned his decision to quit the national team in favour of Chelsea.

"There was a moment when I regretted my decision to change," he told Sky Sport Italia. "If I hadn't already signed for Chelsea, I would never have been able to leave the lads.

"The first year and a half [as Italy coach] were beautiful, but what we were able to create in those 50 days that we were all together is something unique and extraordinary. It was a family. 

"When we lost to Germany, everybody was crying because we knew we were not going to see each other together the following day."

Italy's performances under Conte in France over the summer were part of the reason Chelsea fans were so excited about their team's chances this season.

The Azzuri entered Euro 2016 with limited expectations but, through a mixture of strong defence and exciting counter-attacking play, won over a lot of fans before ultimately bowing out on penalties at the quarter-final stage.

Clearly their efforts left a huge impact on Conte too although, fortunately for the Blues faithful, he didn't act on his moment of regret and try and get out of his contract at Chelsea.

Rather than worry about their new manager's commitment to the club, Chelsea fans will probably enjoy hearing Conte talking about his passionate connection with the Italy squad.

The former Juve boss is known as an excellent man manager and the Blues will be hoping that, over the coming months, he can build the same strong relationship with his Chelsea squad as the season continues.

If he can do that, the 2015/15 Premier League champions might just be a sneaky pick to reclaim the title come May 2017.

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Premier League
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