Before the Super Sunday clash of titans between Manchester United and Chelsea, the Blues' manager Luis Felipe Scolari began playing his mind games by hinting that Cristiano Ronaldo may be with Chelsea next season.
Chelsea is the latest team to hop in the race to woo Ronaldo away from Old Trafford, joining cash-rich City and La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid.
Sir Alex Ferguson spent most of the close-season fending off Real Madrid’s attempts to pry Ronaldo from Old Trafford as well as the surprise bid from rivals, Manchester City.
Scolari cleverly chose this very moment before the very important clash to make this surprise announcement, ensuring maximum impact as well as maximum media coverage before the match.
“Maybe next season, Cristiano is with me,” he said. “If he wants to change, I’ll open the door to that. He’s my friend. I like him as a father likes his son. But his life is his life. I talked to him once or twice when I was with Portugal, but he had an agent, a mother, friends, he’s an intelligent boy.”
“He is one of the three best players in the world. I said that two years ago and I repeat it now. He’s improved himself very well. Ronaldo has grown up, matured.”
Scolari with his comment has managed to hit their rivals Manchester United where it hurt most and try to put the pressure back on Manchester United by hitting on their most valuable player, Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has played under Scolari for the Portugal national squads and both share a good rapture, but realistically many experts feel there's no chance of Scolari signing him and this is just intended to mentally unsettle his rivals and also their fans.
Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to be named in the starting line-up against Chelsea and his return boosts Manchester United considerably. They have had a patchy run till now in contrast to Chelsea's juggernaut.
Scolari plans to share a bottle of wine with Alex Ferguson after Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge, but the Brazilian is in for a taste of the United manager’s hairdyer treatment instead after giving Ronaldo an open invitation to join him at Chelsea.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson had earlier said that the prospect of ending Chelsea’s record unbeaten home run would spur his side on when the two powerhouses of English football meet on Sunday.