|In England, Chelsea Football Club has announced that Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari will be its new manager for next season just over two weeks after sacking Israeli Avram Grant following the team’s Champions League final defeat by Manchester United in Moscow.|
'Chelsea Football Club are delighted to confirm that Luiz Felipe Scolari will be the club's new manager from July 1, 2008,” a statement from Chelsea read.
'Felipe has great qualities. He is one of the world's top coaches with a record of success at country and club level. His ambitions and expectations match ours. He was the outstanding choice.”
Scolari, affectionately known as ‘Big Phil’ both for his physical size and reputation, is currently in Switzerland where he is the national team coach for Portugal during the Euro 2008 tournament. He won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil before leading Portugal to the final game of Euro 2004 and has also won nine domestic trophies in his homeland.
“Out of respect for his role as head coach of the Portuguese national team, there will be no comment from Chelsea Football Club nor from Felipe about his new role,” read the London-based soccer club’s statement.
Betfair.com had made Roma boss Luciano Spalletti the favourite at 5-2 followed by former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini alongside Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard at 11-4. Scolari was at 4-1 with other leaders including AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti at 8-1, Russian national team coach Gus Hiddink at 10-1 and former Chelsea player Gianfranco Zola an outside bet at 25-1.
Scolari, the soccer team’s fourth manager in five years, will guide Chelsea through its first competitive game during the Premier League’s inaugural weekend of the 2008/09 season on August 16.