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Emerson speaks to AS: “Conte told us this season was going to be different”

The Tottenham winger told Diario AS of the team’s hopes of winning the Premier and the Champions League. He also recalled his time at Barcelona: “It’s a shame because it’s a great team...”

Emerson with the Tottenham shirt in the Champions League match against Eintracht
Richard HeathcoteGetty

Emerson Royale is a central figure out on the right wing in Antonio Conte’s attack. The Tottenham wideman hurtles up and down his flank at full speed, tearing through the rival defences. The latest victim to suffer his pace were Eintracht Frankfurt, who Spurs beat 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday night with the Brazilian winger in scintillating form. Emerson exclusively attended Diario AS after the game.

“We want the Premier League and we want the Champions League,” the Spurs star exclaimed, and revealed that last season the players had a meeting with Conte who assured them: “This season is going to be different” and that they would be battling for major trophies. The Italian coach has changed the dynamics of the north London club, who top their Champions group and sit third in the Premier League, just four points behind leaders, Arsenal.

But Emerson still remembers the brief time he spent at Barcelona, before ending up in London and gave his thoughts on his old club’s troubles in Europe: “It makes me very sad because they’re a great team”.

After beating Eintracht to maintain top spot in the group, how are you feeling?

We started very well, we started very strong. We knew how difficult the game would be - there were occasions and we got a little confused. The most important thing of all is that the team has been working very hard and we got the three points.

Harry Kane scored again, Son has scored again, are they an eternal partnership?

Yes, that partnership is very important to us. We know the quality they have, and as I always say, the important thing is the team, but we also work for them because we know the quality they have, so we leave them one-on-one to resolve the game, and that’s what happened against Eintracht.

How do you see yourself within the team?

Good, that’s why I am working every day - I want to help the team in any way, be it by scoring or in attack... the important thing for me is that the team is growing, improving every day and the game against Eintracht was very important for us.

Considering the team’s level, do you think Tottenham are candidates to win the Premier League?

Well, we are working for that. Last season the boss (Conte) spoke with us and told us that this season was going to be different, that we were going to fight for big things. And we think that too, we have the mentality of winning every competition we are in. The first step is having the right mentality, believing that we can and that is what we are doing. We are going to continue working, yes, we do want to win the Premier League and we want to win the Champions League.

What has Conte transmitted to you these days, after the sad death of his assistant, Gian Piero?

We are playing for him. The mentality he had was a surreal thing, he told us that there were no limits, at all, and we will play for him until the end.

Leaving Tottenham aside for a moment, Barcelona, a club you briefly played for, are close to being eliminated from the Champions League again, how do you see your former team from afar?

It makes me very sad because Barcelona is a great team. We always want the big teams in the big competitions and I think that Barcelona has players, a squad, to turn it around. And if they don’t qualify, it will be a shame, but I think they’ll keep working to get into the Champions League again.

Do you still talk to Barcelona players? What do they tell you?

The player I talk to the most is Ansu Fati, we talk a lot, he’s one of the close friends I still have in Barcelona and I hope everything goes well for him.