Luis Felipe Scolari explains how Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka clashes cost him Chelsea job

Malik Ouzia
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Luis Felipe Scolari says issues with Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba cost him his job at Chelsea and saw him miss out on “one of the great chances of my life”.

Scolari took the Blues job in the summer of 2008 but was sacked the following February after a run of just four wins in 12 games in the league.

The former World Cup-winning coach said his first clash with Drogba came soon after he arrived at the club, with a disagreement over his rehabilitation from injury.

“Our medical department thought that we should let Drogba go and recover [from surgery] in Cannes, in the middle of summer,” Scolari told Yellow and Green Football.

“I thought he should stay in London. I’d also like to go to Cannes in the middle of summer. I’d stay there for a month, two months, enjoying myself.”

In Drogba’s absence, Anelka excelled, scoring 14 league goals by Christmas, but upon the Ivorian’s return to fitness further problems surfaced.

“When he came back, I tried to adapt so that Drogba and Anelka could play together,” Scolari explained. “Anelka was the top scorer in the league. We had a meeting and Anelka said: ‘I only play in one position’.

“So, there was a bit of a lack of friendship, of respect, of trying to play together with Drogba. They were both great, but someone had to do something different, to get back to help when we lost the ball.

“That was when it changed a bit. But we’ve met since then, me and Drogba. The last time was in Russia in 2018. We spoke openly about it.

“There wasn’t any ill intention from him or Anelka. But it happened and I lost out on one of the great chances of my life.”