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The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans arrive for the Group E match between Switzerland and France during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Arena Fonte Nova on June 20, 2014 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. (Photo by Felipe Oliveira / Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans arrive for the Group E match between Switzerland and France during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Arena Fonte Nova on June 20, 2014 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. (Photo by Felipe Oliveira / Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Liverpool fans take a selfie prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on December 26, 2017 in Liverpoo
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Bournemouth fans celebrate their sides second goal in the stands during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Newcastle United fans arriving before the Premier League match at the Kirklees Stadium, Huddersfield.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - As Euro 2016 fever spreads across the continent we cast an eye over the world of colour, passion and pride, the joy and the heartbreak that the beautiful game stirs across the globe
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A young Southampton fan next to a brick memorial wall before the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. Poland's fans pose within the Euro 2016 group C football match between Poland and Northern Ireland on June 12, 2016 in the fan zone at the bottom of the Eiffel tower in Paris, during the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - As Euro 2016 fever spreads across the continent we cast an eye over the world of colour, passion and pride, the joy and the heartbreak that the beautiful game stirs across the globe
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. - Denmark fans show their support prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off second leg match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. Germany fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Germany and Ukraine at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 12, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Ludivine Payet (1st L), wife of Dimitri Payet of France kisses her child prior to the match between Germany and France at Stade Velodrome on July 7, 2016 in Marseille, France.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - France supporters kiss prior to the Euro 2016 semi-final football match between Germany and France at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on July 7, 2016.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Swansea City's Wilfried Bony takes a picture with a young fan prior to the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A young Southampton fan poses for a picture next to a player mural before the Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A woman holding a rose poses with the piece of street art titled Love is blind, depicting Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo kissing by street artist Salva Tvboy, in Barcelona on April 23, 2017.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans of Jamaica Tallawahs during Match 23 of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League between Jamaica Tallawahs and St Lucia Stars at Sabina Park on August 25, 2017 in Kingston, Jamaica.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - -A man and a woman supporting France kiss prior to the Euro 2016 group A football match between France and Romania at Stade de France, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Argentina fans cheer prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina at Maracana on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
A Greek supporter waits for the start of the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Costa Rica and Greece at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Sunday, June 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
An England fan wearing face paint before the game during the Group D match in the Estadio do Sao Paulo, Brazil
A Poland supporter looks on prior to the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Poland and Portugal at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on June 30, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
he beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Colombia fans pose for a photo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Japan and Colombia at Arena Pantanal on June 24, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. Swedish supporters, their faces painted in the colors of the national flag, cheer as they wait for the start of the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Friday, June 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Portugal supporters before the UEFA Euro 2016, semi-final match at the Stade de Lyon, Lyon. PA
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world: France supporter arrives for the start of the Euro 2016 semi-final football match between Germany and France at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on July 7, 2016.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world: An Australia fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Chile and Australia at Arena Pantanal on June 13, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. A French supporter is seen prior to the UEFA Euro 2016 Group A match between France and Romania at Stade de France on June 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - at Arena Fonte Nova on June 16, 2014 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 12: An Ukraine fan is seen prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Germany and Ukraine at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 12, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
An Ukraine fan is seen prior to the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Germany and Ukraine at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 12, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Portugal supporter dances in the stands before the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans of the Colombia team
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A fan of the Netherlands enjoys the atmosphere prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - : A fan looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Russia and South Korea at Arena Pantanal on June 17, 2014 in Cuiaba, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans of the Brazilian football team arrive to watch a match on a giant screen in the 'Fan Fest' area in Porta Negro on June 17, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil. Brazil, the host nation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, are due to play their second group match against Mexico in Fortaleza today. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans pictures from the 2014 brazil World Cup.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A Poland supporter gestures prior to the Euro 2016 quarter-final football match between Poland and Portugal at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on June 30, 2016.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A Honduras fan shows hher support prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group E match between Honduras and Switzerland at Arena Amazonia on June 25, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: A Colombia fan holds a flag prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Colombia and Greece at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
SALVADOR, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10: Fans before the match Brazil v Denmark on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Arena Fonte Nova on August 10, 2016 in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo by Felipe Oliveira/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. - Supporters of Mexico wait for the start of the Copa America Centenario football tournament match against Venezuela in Houston, Texas, United States, on June 13, 2016.
A Colombian supporter celebrates after Teofilo Gutierrez scored his side's second goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Greece at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Belgian Fanny Neguesha, Mario Balotelli's girlfriend, attends at the group D World Cup soccer match between England and Italy at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. Fans pictures from the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. Fans pictures from the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. A Polish supporter blows a kiss prior to the Euro 2016 Group C soccer match between Germany and Poland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, France, Thursday, June 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world. A football fan waits for the start of the Copa America Centenario football tournament match between the United States and Paraguay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, on June 11, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERTDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Fans of Brazil during 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualification match between Brazil and Colombia at Arena da Amazonia at Arena da Amazonia on September 6, 2016 in Manaus, Brazil. (Photo by Bruno Zanardo/Getty Images)
MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JULY 07: Ludivine Sagna, wife of Bacary Sagna of France is seen in the stand is seen prior to the UEFA EURO semi final match between Germany and France at Stade Velodrome on July 7, 2016 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - A France supporter waits for the start of the Euro 2016 semi-final football match between Germany and France at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on July 7, 2016.
The beautiful game - football fans from around the world - Supporters show their banners for Bastian Schweinsteiger during the international friendly match between Germany and Finland at Borussia-Park on August 31, 2016 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MANAUS, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Fans of Brazil during 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualification match between Brazil and Colombia at Arena da Amazonia at Arena da Amazonia on September 6, 2016 in Manaus, Brazil. (Photo by Bruno Zanardo/Getty Images)
MANAUS, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Fans of Brazil during 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualification match between Brazil and Colombia at Arena da Amazonia at Arena da Amazonia on September 6, 2016 in Manaus, Brazil. (Photo by Bruno Zanardo/Getty Images)

Antonio Conte has endorsed Chelsea’s decision to let 43-goal Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah leave, insisting he was “a different player” four years ago.

Salah tormented Chelsea while playing for Swiss side Basel and moved to Stamford Bridge in January 2014.

Limited opportunities saw the Egypt forward join Fiorentina on loan 12 months later, and then Roma on a temporary deal which became permanent.

Some have used the benefit of hindsight to criticise Jose Mourinho, now at Manchester United but the manager of Chelsea at the time, as Salah has been thriving for Liverpool since returning to the Premier League.

“It’s not so simple,” Chelsea head coach Conte said.

“We have to compare Salah of four, five years ago, and not with this Salah now.

“Salah has improved a lot, he has developed his football.

“I think the Italy experience was very important for him and now I’m sure that he’s a different player compared to the past.

“For this reason I think it’s very difficult to have this comparison.”

With four games to go in the Premier League season, beginning at Swansea today, Chelsea are fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who play Watford on Monday.

Asked if it was realistic for Chelsea to overhaul Spurs and clinch Champions League qualification, Conte puffed out his cheeks.

“Realistic? As you know very well it won’t be easy, but at the same time we must try,” he said.

“The only way to put a bit of pressure on Tottenham is to try to get three points. Otherwise it will be very difficult to put pressure on Tottenham.

“I think the players and I, we are trying to do our best.

“Our best is to try to win every game. Last season we won the Premier League, this season in the league we are struggling.”

Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns, but Marcos Alonso is absent, completing his three-match suspension.

The Blues are expected to make changes following the FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton, with Thibaut Courtois expected to return in goal and strikers Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata could be paired up front.

Brazil defender David Luiz has not played since February, but could return before the end of the season.

Conte said: “He’s improving a lot. He had this problem in his knee, he’s working very hard and I think he’s aiming to come back before the final of the season.”

Club captain Gary Cahill has regained his place in recent weeks, with the England defender’s World Cup spot in jeopardy.

Conte added: “We’re talking about a player with great experience.

“I have great respect for (England boss Gareth) Southgate. I think he has to make the best decision for the national team.

“But for sure we’re talking about an important player for Chelsea and the national team.”

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