CHELSEA FC FAN'S GROUP : FRIDAY JULY 4,2008 Tuesday July 1st marked the official appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari as the new coach at Stamford Bridge. Scolari was chosen as the successor to Manager Avram Grant who was released by Chelsea on May 24, 2008 following the Blues Champions League Final loss to rival Manchester United. Grant had also guided Chelsea to a second place finish in the English Premier League on the last day of the 2007-08 season. One of those moments that will be forever etched in our minds is that of Captain John Terry's failed Free Kick in added time on a soggy pitch in Moscow's Luzhiniki Stadium. Terry's kick erroneously hit the right post in the waining minutes of the match in what is remembered as one of the Champions League's most heart wrenching endings in recent memory. Chelsea returned to London without a trophy and Grant returned without a job.
THE SCOLARI ERA BEGINS : To coincide with Scolari's arrival at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, the biggest news of the week came from Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain Monday afternoon as the word came fourth that Anderson Lois(Deco) de Souza has decided to leave Barcelona FC and has signed a contract to play for Chesea in 2008-09. Deco was riddled with injuries last season and scored only 1 goal in 28 matches in his worst season as a pro. Deco was jeered by Barcelona fans in the teams last home appearance in the Spanish League, leading to his decision to begin negotiations with other clubs. Chelsea was quick to take the bait in hopes of filling the void of an attacking midfielder. A position that will almost certainly be left vacant as Frank Lampard prepares for a transfer to Inter Milan and a reunion with former coach Jose Mourinho.
Deco brings an outstanding resume to Chelsea having won the European Champions League with both Porto and Barcelona. He was part of the Portuguese team that reached the Euro 2004 final on home soil, losing to Greece. He helped Portugal reach the 2006 World Cup semifinals, where they lost to France. The 30 year old Brazilian born Deco went on to become a Portuguese National and has won numerous Honours including:
UEFA Cup (2003)
UEFA Champions League (2004, 2006)
Portuguese Liga (2003, 2004)
Portuguese Cup (2003)
Spanish La Liga (2005, 2006)
Spanish Super Cup (2005, 2006)
UEFA Champions League Top Assister (2004)
UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (2004)
FIFA Club World Cup Player of the Tournament (2006)
37 International Caps