Scolari would like Ronaldo at Stamford Bridge

September 20, 2008
By Soccernet staff

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has suggested - with tongue in cheek - he would "open the door" for Cristiano Ronaldo to play at Stamford Bridge after seeing him mature in the last few years.

EmpicsLuiz Felipe Scolari: Knows Ronaldo well from his time with Portugal.

Scolari coached Ronaldo with Portugal and described how he likes the Manchester United winger as a father likes a son.

Ronaldo has recovered from ankle surgery and is expected to feature at Stamford Bridge for Manchester United on Sunday.

"Now he is one of the three best players in the world," Scolari said. "I said that two years ago, and I repeat it now.

"When I was at Portugal, I had to choose three players every year (for FIFA World Player of the Year). One year I chose Didier Drogba as one of my three. Another year, I wrote John Terry. Another year I wrote Frank Lampard.

"Now these three players are with me, and that's very good for me. Maybe next season, Cristiano is with me. Very good. If he wants to change, I'll open the door to that."

"When I arrived in Portugal, Ronaldo was a kid. A young boy, 17 years old," Scolari said. "At that time, he had a good character. He was starting as a very good professional, but at that time he was already thinking about his future.

"He's improved himself, very well, in the five or six years since. More in Manchester than with the national team. He lives in Manchester 11 months of the year. Only one month a year with the national team.

"I've seen him improve. Next season, I can see him as a captain with Portugal because people like him and he has the confidence for that. He's a very good man, helps the other players, a good attitude on and off the pitch. He has grown up and matured.

"Now, at this time of life, Ronaldo is mature and is better than one or two years ago."