Following Italy’s exit from Euro 2016 Antonio Conte has said that he was hoping that his stay with Italy would extend beyond the tournament but that he has no regrets about his move to Chelsea.

Conte said that he is looking forward to returning to club management after it was announced in April that he is to take charge at Stamford Bridge. The 46-year-old has been highly praised for his work with an Italy side that topped Group E in France and then beat the defending champions Spain 2 – 0 in the last 16.

Speaking after Italy’s defeat he said that “The decision to leave the national team after two years was taken early and I don’t deny there were moments when I’d have liked to have the opportunity to continue.”

However, he went on to make it clear that he has no regrets about his decision to return to club management. Most recently he was manager at Juventus and produced three consecutive Serie A titles with the team.

He said that he wants to “return to the cut and thrust of club football. Now, I have the opportunity to start this exciting adventure.”

Conte said that he will be taking a week off before beginning his work with Chelsea and said that it is unlikely that he will return to with the Italian team in the future.

Despite the team losing to Germany Conte said that he is proud of his team who fought back from a goal down to force penalties only to lose a dramatic 18-penalty shoot-out when Jonas Hector found the net with the deciding kick.

He said that the team had gone “beyond the call of duty, giving absolutely everything and I think people recognise this”.