"No, absolutely no; I don't think that a player like Messi is a selfish player", said Conte.
"In my team I don't want a selfish player, I would prefer to lose the game than have a selfish player".
Conte has preached team-first from day one, so any suggestion that a player should work for something other than the team is likely to be met with similar derision and dismissal. For me, it's sad to listen to this, that a player must "be more selfish" to reach the top level. Never, never. In my team, I don't want selfish players.
But in a news conference at Cobham on Monday, Conte dismissed the idea that Messi - who scored his 500th goal for Barcelona in the last minute of Sunday's 3-2 victory over Real Madrid - plays selfishly, and said that the first responsibility of every player is to his teammates. I want to focus on finishing this season well with Chelsea.
"Sometimes when we have a counter attack and it's two against two and he passes the ball, I tell him, "You have the capability to score by yourself". I don't want this and I can't accept this.
"I try game after game to be more selfish".
Dan Kilpatrick and Liam Twomey discuss the surprise lineups that played a role in Chelsea and Spurs' FA Cup semifinal. It's a great achievement. Hazard's own team-first attitude fits perfectly in this instance, probably better in fact than it did during the Mourinho years when Hazard even complained about having to do it all by himself before Mourinho called him mentally incapable of sacrificing himself for the team - a blazing (tactics) row!
Chelsea will bid to extend their advantage to seven points against the Saints this evening and pile the pressure on second-placed Tottenham, who face in-form Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
"It's great to know when after a week we finish the championship we have to play a final in the FA Cup".
"We worked together with the national team", Conte said.