Scolari reveals Drogba conflict at Chelsea
Published 30/03/2011 | 11:45
Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed he tried to offload Didier Drogba while Chelsea manager and confirmed the pair had "conflicts" during his short reign at Stamford Bridge.
It has long been thought Scolari and Drogba had clashed while the former was in charge of the Blues, with the latter's agent claiming after Scolari's sacking just over two years ago that one of them had to go.
And it now appears Scolari failed to convince billionaire owner Roman Abramovich to swap Drogba for then Inter Milan striker Adriano.
He told TB Arena Sport TV: "I didn't leave Chelsea because of sabotage from the players, but it is true that it was difficult to control the dressing room.
"Drogba believed he was the star in the squad and I did have conflicts with him. He wanted to go to a hospital in Paris because of an injury, but I said no.
"That was my first problem because (Nicolas) Anelka did well in his absence and scored many goals. When Drogba came back, he wanted to go straight back into the team but I said no."
He added: "I also wanted Abramovich to change Drogba for Adriano at Inter, because it was easier to control him than Drogba."
Scolari also claimed midfielder Michael Ballack and Deco did not speak to each other following the latter's arrival from Barcelona.
"Ballack wanted to be one of the owners of the dressing room and the relationship with the German was not easy," Scolari said.
"He seemed jealous of Deco, did not want his arrival and I had to explain that I was the coach and it was up to me.
"I wanted Deco to work it out with Ballack, but it wasn't possible. They didn't speak to each other."
Scolari, who quit his job at Portugal manager to take charge of Chelsea in 2008, lasted just over seven months at Stamford Bridge. His reign began brightly but results deteriorated and he was sacked in February 2009 amid fears the club could fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Scolari, who exited amid rumours he had also lost the dressing room, revealed how much his sacking had hurt him.
"I was very depressed after my exit and for two months I didn't want to even talk about football," he said.
Meanwhile, Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro de Oliveira has warned star player Neymar against moving to England.
Chelsea reportedly saw a bid rejected last summer for the 19-year-old, who shone in Brazil's 2-0 win over Scotland at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Neymar has described the prospect of joining the Blues as a "dream", adding: "The weather I don't like all that much, but I could get used to it."
But Oliveira told ESPN: "Playing in England is not the same as playing at (Santos' stadium) Vila Belmiro.
"It is much worse, because of the climate and the style of football, which he is unaccustomed to.
"We have demonstrated that, as he has developed into a player who represents the best of Brazilian football - being audacious, skilful, effective, attacking - he is going to become a key figure in the history of Brazilian football.
"He is going to gain international recognition, and maybe get chosen as the best player in the world, playing in Brazil.
"This is something that hasn't happened since Pele's day, and he has a golden chance."