Big Phil returns to Stamford Bridge, recalls his quick axe


With his arrival at Stamford Bridge on Monday, Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed that he was not provided enough time at Chelsea to succeed before being sacked in February 2009.

Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?

During Big Phil’s reign in West London he was cruising through the 2008-09 season with his club fourth in the Premier League table and still in both the FA Cup and Champions League when Roman Abramovich dropped the guillotine and brought in Guus Hiddink (after a 1 match caretaker stint by Ray Wilkins) to finish out the season.

When asked whether he was given sufficient time at Chelsea, Scolari said: “I don’t think so but it was a decision from the management.” He also lamented, “I believe my time at Chelsea was not as bad as people have been talking about.”

Anonymous reports – which Sporting News‘ Brian Krause has given me the nod of journalistic approval to print –  say that as the Brazil boss muttered these words, Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto di Matteo collectively threw their hands in the air and screamed ‘No, no, no, I was the one who wasn’t given enough time at Chelsea!!

Regardless of Abramovich’s lack of appreciation for Scolari, he still has a friend in everyone’s favorite West London geezer, David Luiz. The Chelsea defender, always eager to offer his insightful opinions on topics that he may or may not have first-hand knowledge of, said: “I’m sure [Scolari] is happy to come back here because regardless of what happened here he has very good memories.” He continued, “What I have heard, having asked around, is Scolari had a great time, regardless of what happened.”

The good times at the Bridge continue Monday when Scolari and Luiz look to improve on their country’s unsightly FIFA World Ranking of #18 when they take on Fabio Capello’s Russia.

Football leaks: French police raid PSG HQ, 3 players’ homes

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PARIS (AP) A French official says police investigating suspected tax fraud linked to the soccer industry have raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of three Argentine players in France.

The official said anti-corruption police units searched the homes of PSG players Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and that of Nantes forward Emiliano Sala on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Real Madrid signs $50m teen ]

Police also raided the head offices of PSG at Parc des Princes and other offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside the French capital, the official said.

The official, familiar with the case, declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

The national financial prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in December after so-called “football leaks” reports allegedly detailed tax arrangements by top players, coaches and clubs.

Real Madrid signs most expensive Brazilian since Neymar

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Real Madrid didn’t wait long after learning Vinicius Junior was healthy.

The 16-year-old Flamengo star is committed to the Bernabeu after passing a physical, and Real Madrid announced Tuesday that they’ll have their new player no later than July 2019.

The reported fee is $50 million, which would be the most money spent on a Brazilian player since Barcelona landed Neymar for about $64 million in 2013.

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The forward has made two appearances for Flamengo, and turns 17 on July 12. He has 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s U-17 side.

Here’s Real’s announcement:

Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.

VOTE: 2016-17 Premier League Goal of the Season

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Okay, so you have 1064 to choose from, so choose wisely…

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 PL season reviews

The 2016-17 Premier League season is over but you can vote for your favorite goal of the campaign up until June 1.

Simply click on the video above to watch the contenders compiled by Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, and then you can vote by clicking here.


Ex-Barcelona president Rosell held in money laundering probe

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MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 season reviews

The detentions early Tuesday are part of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.

Three other people have been detained, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.

Police raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other locations in Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” in reference to former FIFA President Jules Rimet.

Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.

Rosell is already standing trial for fraud and corruption charges involving the 2013 transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.