Antonio Conte was clearly unimpressed when an Italian prankster presented him with a Manchester United shirt bearing his name signed by Jose Mourinho.
The two managers engaged in a public war of words last month, with Mourinho calling him out for past match-fixing charges and Conte labelling the Man United boss as a “little man”.
Mourinho was then met by the same prankster outside the Lowry Hotel and saw the funny side, chuckling as he signed the shirt.
Conte’s press conference ahead of his side’s clash with Hull City on Friday night was then interrupted as prankster Stefano Corti, host of satirical show Le Iene, gave him the shirt to sign, although the manager didn’t seem too interested.
This is some truly awkward footage. The whole room just sits there in silence, utterly motionless as the man shows Conte footage of Mourinho signing the shirt, before performing what looks like a kind of fascist salute and then offering a weird looking handshake – a handshake Conte flatly refuses.
You sense that, unlike Mourinho, Conte didn’t appreciate the bit at all. My inclination is that he doesn’t just have no sense of humour; it’s almost as if he just doesn’t get jokes.
I’m sure if you got him to sit on a whoopee cushion he’d just sit there in a state of puzzlement. I bet you anything he wouldn’t cooperate in a knock-knock joke.
Then again, with his job on the line, now perhaps isn’t the best time for laughs and jokes.