“I lost out on one of the great chances of my life.”
Luiz Felipe Scolari has blamed Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba for his dismissal by Chelsea back in 2009.
Scolari was in charge of the Blues for seven months after being drafted in to replace Avram Grant in 2008.
Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The 72-year-old has opened up about his Chelsea sacking and put the blame at the door of two of his strikers who he “clashed” with during his short reign in West London.
With Drogba injured at the start of the season, Anelka thrived in his absence and finished the season as the Premier League Golden Boot winner with 19 goals.
However, when both strikers were fit the Brazilian manager struggled to find a system that suited both players.
“I had a form of leadership that clashed with one or two players,” Scolari told Yellow and Green Football.
“Anelka was the top scorer in the league. We had a meeting and Anelka said, ‘I 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.”
Carlo Ancelotti took over the Chelsea job the following season and managed to get both Anelka and Drogba firing in the same starting line up.
Ancelotti’s side went on to win the Double, with the duo playing a crucial role.
The former Portugal manager went on to manage his own national team before club spells in Brazil, China and Uzbekistan.
Nevertheless, it’s his failure in England that still haunts the ex-Brazil manager.
“I wanted to keep working in England. I would work at any club. I think it’s marvellous,” Scolari added.
“We went to play against Portsmouth and Sunderland. In stadiums that hold 20,000 people, 19,000 are cheering for the team of their city.
“I think that’s really beautiful. They don’t support the big clubs, they support their clubs.”
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