This was my chance, perhaps my only chance. If he caught on to what I was doing, he'd not mention anything to do with the match-fixing scandal to me ever again. I put on my most imploring, must hurt tone.
"Antonio...please. Can we talk?" I could almost feel the contemptuous smirk reach his lips.
"Talk about what? I don't like to waste my time talking to cheats."
Oh, the irony, I thought to myself, but no use pushing him away now. "Please, just tell me why? What did I do to make you do this to me?"
He almost began to talk. I could hear his voice begin to form a word and almost spit it out to me, and yet something held him back. I stood there, phone in hand, silent, not moving, waiting for a reply.
He began to laugh.
"Antonio..." Had he seen through my ruse?
Conte's reply bit back at me, anger hardly restrained, and I nearly dropped the phone in surprise.
"You ruined my life! You and your team, your unbeatable team, winning every single time, every single tournament! Surely you must be cheating, I thought, surely you could not be outclassing us like this time and time again! A few checks with some old accomplices from 2006 told me you were clean, but a little bit more cash in a few referees' pockets said otherwise. You were destroying Italian football with your falsified dominance. Someone had to stop you."
I turned off the recorder. Now, it was my turn to chuckle.
"Does the prospect of the rest of your life without football amuse you, Giuseppe?"
My laughter died down quickly. No need to continue wasting my time on this pretentious little prick.