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Ballack interview


BLUENUT

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MICHAEL BALLACK last night confirmed he speaks regularly with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

But he strongly denied using that line of communication to knife Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Brazilian Big Phil was dramatically axed last week — and immediately claimed he had been betrayed by three senior Blues players.

Midfielder Ballack was one of the accused — alongside keeper Petr Cech and hitman Didier Drogba.

But on the day that his caretaker replacement Guus Hiddink took charge of his first Chelsea training session, Ballack sought to set the record straight — and declare his admiration for the new gaffer!

Ballack revealed it was normal for Chelsea players to speak with Abramovich but insisted: “I was surprised when I heard about what I was supposed to have done.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport...icle2243169.ece

“I always had a lot of good words about Scolari.

“But it is normal in a club for players to speak with directors.

“If people speak with each other, even if you don’t have the success you want, it happens.

“It happened under other coaches at Chelsea. It’s normal as Roman comes in the dressing room and speaks with players.â€

Ballack insists he had no problem with Scolari but agreed there had been difficulties understanding what the Brazilian was trying to say.

Scolari’s pidgin English was a barrier, though. Ballack revealed:

“Scolari was a great coach. Sometimes the language was not a problem though sometimes I felt he wanted to explain much more than he could with his language.

“He put a lot of effort in the team. Sometimes if you don’t win, it’s not an easy situation for everybody. We didn’t get the results.â€

By comparison, Hiddink’s English is near-perfect. He also has the full backing of Ballack, despite the fact the Dutchman’s presence conjures up a ghost from the past the German would rather forget.

The most bitter-sweet memory of Ballack’s career came when Germany were playing Hiddink’s South Korea side.

Guiding the tournament co-hosts to the World Cup semi-finals in 2002 is arguably Hiddink’s greatest achievement.

But for Ballack, what happened when the sides met for a place in the final was probably his most painful moment in football.

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Ballack picked up a booking during the match and knew it ruled him out of the final if Germany got there.

Then, with 15 minutes of the match left, he scored the goal which ensured he would suffer the agony of missing out.

At the time he said: “When the dream of playing in the World Cup final is destroyed, it is the most bitter pill for a footballer to swallow.â€

Now managed by the man whose team he faced that day, Ballack is looking forward to being on the same side as Hiddink for a change.

Ballack said: “I played against him in the ’02 World Cup and against Russia in the current World Cup qualifiers. He’s an experienced coach, a very strong coach. He’s had a lot of success. Even with teams like South Korea, Australia and now Russia.

“He has pushed them to another level. You could see that in Euro 2008. That’s what we know from outside. So now we start at Chelsea.

“He is experienced, a strong person but it’s too soon to say anything about him. We were away on international duty when we heard Chelsea sacked the manager.

“It was not easy but everybody stayed together on Friday and Saturday and it was really important for us to win at Watford.â€

Ballack admitted that, with 14 weeks of the season left, now is not the ideal time to change managers.

But he reckons — given the experience Chelsea have in the dressing room — Hiddink (right) could enjoy instant success. He said: “It’s not easy but he’s an experienced guy, we are an experienced team with experienced players.

“We want success and we know how it works normally. It shouldn’t be a problem to fight and stay together.â€

That’s what Scolari believed only to find out differently but Hiddink’s close friendship with the owner gives him an advantage.

AXED ... Phil Scolari got Chelsea boot last week

But any players wishing to challenge this manager’s authority should be well warned: There will be only one winner.

Meanwhile, Carlos Queiroz insists he does not fear for his job as coach of Portugal now Scolari is back on the market.

Big Phil was a national hero in Portugal after guiding them to the final of Euro 2004 and already there are calls for him to return.

But former Manchester United assistant boss Queiroz is adamant he won’t step aside and doesn’t feel under pressure.

He said: “The fact that Scolari is back in the market doesn’t worry me.

“I am not under pressure because of this — the only pressure is to get the right results for the Portuguese team.â€

Queiroz, however, has blasted Chelsea for the way they dumped Scolari after only seven months at Stamford Bridge.

The former Real Madrid gaffer said: “For me, it was a surprise but in recent times too many coaches are being sacked in England.

“It is regrettable that after only seven months a coach has to leave his post.

“But in England it’s becoming normal — and it’s bad news for football.â€

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oh god bluenut, what have you done. sexelk will be writing his 5 page answer as we speak.

oh yeah............

*hangs head in shame*

I got to be honest, I do sympathaise with his view on Ballack since he's been at Chelsea though.

*nods off and headbutts desk*

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what do you want me to say.....

queiroz should be worrying for his job. not because scolari is back on the market but because he is a clueless gimp. u'd think he'd learn somthing workin with saf for so long.

replacing scolari with queiroz is like replacing mourinho with someone rediculous like, i don't know............ AG. oh wait...

pissed me off when he joined portugal. was praying he would take over the reigns at utd. would have been hilarious

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what do you want me to say.....

queiroz should be worrying for his job. not because scolari is back on the market but because he is a clueless gimp. u'd think he'd learn somthing workin with saf for so long.

replacing scolari with queiroz is like replacing mourinho with someone rediculous like, i don't know............ AG. oh wait...

pissed me off when he joined portugal. was praying he would take over the reigns at utd. would have been hilarious

I agree. Queiroz is a completely incompetent manager and way out of his depth outside 2nd tier football management. Portugal are lucky to have a very strong squad, but he won't get them anywhere.

On topic, say what you want about the man, but Ballack time and again proves to me to be a top bloke outside the football pitch. Such a pity he is so obviously underperforming and will probably have to leave come summer.

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