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Chelsea great Michael Ballack insists the way Antonio Conte handled the Diego Costa saga shows he has rediscovered the key to the Chelsea dressing that Jose Mourinho lost last season.

“Costa is Spanish but he has this Brazilian blood,” Ballack is quoted by Daily Express. “Of course South Americans, they are different from Europeans.

“It is an emotional aspect, so you have to find the right access. Conte treated him with toughness – he took him out of the squad, if it was the injured back or not, it doesn’t matter.

“But also the answer is good from Costa. They are two really high-class professionals dealing with each other.

“When I was at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho was a very special manager who found a very special axis with the players, in terms of communication.

“There was always a tension between the coach and the players. Mostly he was pushing us together as a group and he was always at the front. He was our leader.

“But it is not easy when you have 20 egos, 20 individuals as players. Sometimes one or two can create a bit of trouble because they are not happy.

“You have to have a groove and create a good atmosphere. Last year, with Jose, it seems like the players and the coach were not always going in the same direction.

“Now I think Conte has found that key.”

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