Chelsea appoint Scolari | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 13, 2008

Chelsea appoint Scolari


Luiz Felipe Scolari

Luiz Felipe Scolari's appointment as the new manager of Chelsea was given widespread support on Thursday, although the Brazilian World Cup winner has yet to fully satisfy some of his detractors.
Chelsea stole the football spotlight from the Euro 2008 late Wednesday when they announced, to general surprise, that Scolari would replace the sacked Avram Grant after the European Championships.
The 59-year-old Scolari was a big favourite to replace Grant as manager of the English Premier League high-flyers although the timing of the announcement -- Scolari saw his Portugal side qualify for the quarterfinals of the Euro on Wednesday -- appeared bizarre.
Scolari, considered a no-nonsense coach with a reputation for rigour and discipline, won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and was coach of Portugal when they were beaten finalists in the Euro 2004.
Among the first to welcome Scolari to Stamford Bridge was Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
"He is a manager with great charisma, great experience, great results, I look forward to working with him," the Czech national goalkeeper said in an interview published on the national federation's website on Thursday.
"I hope that his (past) results are confirmed with us at Chelsea."
Scolari's first competitive game as Chelsea manager will be the first Premier League match of the 2008-09 season on the weekend of 16-17 August.
One of England's biggest football pundits, former Scotland international Alan Hansen, believes the man known as 'Big Phil' will get the best out of Chelsea's squad of highly-paid stars.
Hansen added: "If you're going into that dressing room you've got to have one, a presence -- he's got that -- and two, a great track record, and he's got that as well.
"He's got the right credentials and he's done fantastically well with Portugal. The big players will find you out in a minute and a half, so it's a great choice."
Going on past results, Scolari has few black marks on his curriculum vitae, if not for the fact he has not coached at club level since his spell with Cruzeiro in 2000-01.
Scolari has no experience of European club football, but in a rich career spent mainly in South America he has won two Copa Libertadores -- the equivalent of the Champions League -- in 1995 with Gremio Porto Alegre and in 1999 with Palmeiras.
Grant led Chelsea to the final of the Champions League in 2008 only for the Blues to lose out to Manchester United.
It seems Chelsea's relentless bid to become European champions has moved up a notch, with some newspapers claiming Scolari -- despite Chelsea's massive debts -- will be given 100 million pounds to spend on talent.
However there are some who question just how Scolari, whose English is said to be basic, will be communicating with his players.

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