The FIFA World Cup-winning manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari recently revealed the reason why he had a short stay at Stamford Bridge and why he was sacked by Chelsea. Disagreement between the star strikers proved to be his axing.
The highly decorated Brazilian coach has coached more than 20 clubs and countries across the globe. He has managed his own Country, Brazil, and Portugal in many tournaments. During his duties in both countries, he has been decorated with some of the most important trophies.
His first stint at Brazil was for 2 years that started a year before the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was indeed a memorable one too as Brazil defeated Germany 2-0 to lift the prestigious trophy for the 5th time.
His imminent success saw him take over the Portugal National side the next year. He was reassigned by Brazil in 2012. Luiz won the FIFA Confederation Cup but had a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup post which he left after his contract ran out.
He improved Portugal side incredibly and took the side deep into the tournaments. In 2004, Portugal saw off the giants like England and Netherland to progress in the Euro Cup final but succumbed to Greece by a single goal. In the 2006 World Cup, he guided his side to the semi-finals where they lost to runners-up France.
His last attempt to win a trophy with Portugal saw an early blow as they were knocked out of the Euro 2008 quarter-finals by Germany. During the tournament, he addressed the media and announced that he will be joining English side Chelsea from the start of the season.
Luis Felipe Scolari on his time at Chelsea:
Luiz had an outstanding career before he managed Chelsea. He even had a similar one post-Chelsea sacking. In fact, it was only at Chelsea that he was not able to make the impact like he did at other places.
The 72-year-old manager replaced Avram Grant at Chelsea in 2008. He was destined for glory, but 7 months into his contract, he was sacked by the club. The poor set of results were a reason, but the Brazilian considers his falling out with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka to be the reason.
One of the fallouts was with Drogba regarding his training regime. The Ivorian wanted to head out to Cannes as a part of his treatment for the injury he incurred earlier. But Felipe’s opinion was that he stayed put in London. In his absence, the other striker, Anelka was flourishing and was leading Chelsea’s frontline. Scolari planned to play both the red-hot players together but things didn’t go out as planned.
In a meeting, Anelka said that he could only play in one position which Scolari deduced as a lack of friendship and trust for his fellow teammate. Someone needed to get back when the team was on the back foot. And neither of them yielded.
“We had a meeting and Anelka said, he only play in one position. So, there was a bit of a lack of friendship, of respect, of trying to play together with Drogba.
That was when it changed a bit. But we’ve met since then, me and Drogba. The last time was in Russia in 2018. We spoke openly about it. There wasn’t any ill intention from him or Anelka. But it happened and I lost out on one of the great chances of my life.“