Conte was asked for his views on Messi having watched the player score twice against Chelsea at the Camp Nou on Wednesday and, in the immediate aftermath of the 3-0 defeat, describe him as a "super, super, super top player". Did Conte feel there were any players in England who compared with the Argentinian?
"Don't joke," he replied. "Not only in England but in history. Maybe only Maradona and Pelé [compare with Messi]. Players that can change the final result.
"I marked Maradona when I played with Lecce. We lost 3-2 and I scored one goal. It was very difficult to mark him. When you played against these players, you had to mark man-to-man.
"Before, football was totally different. Now you must be strong, fast, prepared physically. Talent is not enough to be a modern player."