(Reuters) - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte understands Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s recent comments about early retirement from management but the Italian says he cannot imagine life without football.
Guardiola told the media last week that he is “arriving at the end” of his coaching career before clarifying that he will not be quitting management anytime soon.
“...I have great respect for Pep and I think that when you have a method, when you have a philosophy of football, an idea you want to bring in every team you manage, you spend a lot of energy,” Conte said.
”And sometimes it can happen that you are a bit tired, more tired, in some periods.
“I‘m sure that Pep wants to continue for a long time. I think his work is fantastic.”
The Italian boss cannot imagine his own life without football as he targets another 20 years as a manager.
”Twenty more years? Now I‘m 47. I prefer that my wife doesn’t listen to this! This is our life.
“Football is our life and it’s right to continue to live in football. In the moment that football is not in our life, I think probably we die,” Conte said.
Chelsea are currently top of the table in Conte’s first season at the club and he is hoping to build a lasting legacy at the club, citing former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as examples.
”Sir Alex Ferguson is a good example for me. When I see him, but also when I see Arsene, they are a big example for me.
“I hope to have not completely their career, but 10 years, yes. It’s enough for me.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty