Tottenham forward Richarlison has openly criticised his coach Antonio Conte for lack of game time following the team’s goalless draw against AC Milan on Wednesday.
The Brazilian star started on the bench before coming on as a 70th-minute substitute as his side failed to overturn a first leg deficit and exited the Champions League in the Round of 16 stage on a 1-0 aggregate loss.
“I should have played,” he told Brazilian TV station TNT Sports after Wednesday’s match. “I was playing well, we won against Chelsea and West Ham and suddenly I was on the bench.
“I played five minutes against Wolves, asked the reason and no-one told me why. Yesterday, they asked me to take a fitness test in the gym and told me I was going to start today if I passed it.
“And today I was on the bench. There are things I can’t understand. There was no explanation again, let’s see what he [Conte] will tell us tomorrow – but I’m not silly, I’m a professional who works hard every day and I want to play.”
Richarlison, who moved to Spurs in a £60m deal from Everton in the pre-season, has started in twelve of his twenty-five appearances in this campaign across all competitions. He scored just two games, playing mainly as a right winger.
He added: “Let’s see what he (Conte) will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either, I’m a professional, I work every day and I want to play. There are minutes left, time left.
“This season, excuse the word, it’s been s*** because I don’t have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury. But, when I enter the field, I give my life. I came from two games well, I think that’s it, I think I should have played and I don’t have to cry about it.”- Soccer24 Zimbabwe