Christian Vieri Talks Conte-Mourinho Spat, Ronaldo's Valuation, and Barca's Spending


With the help of emojis and his unflinchingly strong opinions, Azzurri legend Cristian Vieri fielded questions about some of the biggest talking points swirling around the world of soccer this week. 

Beginning with the somewhat unsavory topic of Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho's very public airing of dirty laundry, Vieri sided with his compatriot, saying the Chelsea boss has no choice but to engage with his mind-game obsessed Manchester United counterpart. 

"He shouldn't back down because when he walks in [the Chelsea] dressing room, the players are going to go crazy; he's going to get an applause from everyone.

"You want your coach strong; you don't want your coach to back down."

Next, asked about Cristiano Ronaldo's free fall down the CIES Football Observatory's  most valuable players list to 49th, the one-time LaLiga top goalscorer was incredulous.

 "He just won the Ballon d'Or 25 hours ago! I want to know who the first to the 48th [are]."

Finally, the outspoken Italian refuted claims that Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is changing the philosophy at the Catalan club by recruiting expensive players.

Vieri sympathized with the Barca coach, saying the Spaniard can't be expected to call up La Masia players to the first-team unless they're up to the challenge.

"You're not going to have three or four phenomenal players every year; it takes years. It can take three or four years to find big players, but when they have them, they'll bring them up."