Antonio Conte: Chelsea Can Beat Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona

Antonio Conte insists Chelsea does not fear coming up against Europe's strongest teams after Tuesday's (December 5) 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid saw the Londoners finish second in Group C.

An Eden Hazard shot that deflected off Diego Godin canceled out Koke's 56th minute goal for Diego Simeone's team, and saw the Spanish club eliminated from the competition.

But the draw also wasn't enough for Chelsea to win the group as Roma's victory over Qarabag saw the Italian club progress as group winners. Conte showed a defiance faced with the prospect of coming up against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

"When you play this competition and go through, you must be ready to face the best teams. We know we can play those three," Conte said.

The former Juventus manager also expressed a belief that the packed fixture list in the Premier League actually benefitted English clubs in the early rounds of the knockout stages.

"When you arrive at the final stage English teams have a lot of games in the legs. It makes it problematic to win," Conte added.

Chelsea's star player on the night was the Belgian forward Hazard, who has reportedly stalled on signing a new contract as he seeks a move to Real Madrid.

But Hazard showed no signs of thinking of a future anywhere past February, when the last-16 is played. He insisted that whoever Chelsea face in the knockout round, the team is strong enough to progress.

"It's not a problem who we get, we are Chelsea," he said. "We know PSG and Barcelona are very good but we are a top team too. We can do anything."

According to The Times, Hazard was offered a £300,000-a-week deal in September that would make him the highest-paid player in Chelsea's history. But he has delayed signing the contract with a view to moving to the Bernabeu as Real coach Zinedine Zidane is said to be a big fan.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, London, December 5. Conte insisted Chelsea is capable of beating both Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the next round. IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty