Antonio Conte: Richarlison ‘deserved’ to be Champions League match-winner

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has heaped praise on Richarlison for stepping up on his dream Champions League debut.

The Brazil forward scored a decisive brace as Spurs opened their European campaign with a 2-0 win at home to Marseille on Wednesday.

Richarlison previously spoke of joining Tottenham to fulfil his dream of playing in the Champions League, and Conte believes he was deserving of such an occasion.

“First of all I am happy for Richy because he deserved to have a night like this,” Conte said post-match.

“I remember very well when we signed him he said ‘I can’t wait to play and listen to the Champions League music’. Not many words but important words for me.

“Today, this morning I remember him and said ‘Richy I remember what you say, tonight you have this opportunity and chance. Enjoy this moment and try your best’. He did his best and helped us get three points in a difficult game because Marseille is a really good team.

“We signed Richy because we tried to sign a player that was able to play in all three positions. For this reason we hadn’t had any doubts to sign him. We did this quickly because our idea and vision was very clear, especially for this reason.

“Richy is more of striker than Deki [Dejan Kulusevski] but at the same time he can play in Son’s position, in Harry Kane’s position and Deki’s position. For us this is very important because for sure when you make rotation, you don’t drop the quality.”

Richarlison was seen embracing his parents at full-time and burst into tears after his Player of the Match performance.

He posted a picture with his father in the stands on Instagram, with the caption reading: “It was years of struggle and search, and you were always by my side. I just need to thank you for not giving up on me and my dream. Having you in the stands today made the moment even more exciting and important for me. And I know that everything is just beginning. We continue together for even bigger dreams to come! Thanks Dad!”