Phil Scolari takes a dig at Real Madrid following loss to Barcelona
Former Brazil and Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari took a swipe at Spanish giants Real Madrid, following a 3-0 loss to Barcelona in the Club World Cup. The Brazilian, now at Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande, made his comments after the game, referencing Madrid’s 4-0 humiliation against at the hands of their Catalan rivals a month back.
Speaking to the press after the game, Scolari playfully drew attention away from his side’s 3-0 loss, saying, “At least we didn’t concede four like Real Madrid.”
Lionel Messi made his comeback from injury in that El Clasico game, setting up the second of Luis Suarez’ goals. The Argentine missed Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Guangzhou Evergande due to a new ‘injury’, falling prey to kidney stones that have caused him renal colic (abdominal pain). Manager Luis Enrique is not optimistic about Messi’s chances of making the final, saying, “Messi and Neymar at the final? Leo should wait and see how the night goes. And Neymar the same. We'll see what doctors say.”
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who scored all of Barcelona’s goals, also hopes the duo can play in the final. Midfield maestro Andres Iniesta echoed Suarez’ sentiments, saying, “We showed we can deal without Neymar and Messi, but I hope they can be back for Sunday's game - it'd be a big blow if they aren't.”
Scolari almost managed Barcelona in the past
Luiz ‘Big Phil’ Scolari’s links to Barcelona may reveal why the Brazilian taunted Real Madrid. The Brazilian was very close to being appointed as Barcelona’s manager a decade ago. In Frank Rijkaard’s first season in charge, then Barcelona vice-president Sandro Rossell was keen on appointing the 2002 World Cup winning Brazilian, who was then the manager of Portugal.
Reflecting on that period in his press conference before the Club World Cup semifinal, Scolari said, “When my friend Sandro was at Barca I could have spoken with and accepted an offer from him, but I had a contract with the Portuguese national team, so I couldn't do it, as it would have been unethical.”
The Brazilian displayed his Blaugrana credentials earlier this year, as he may have already annoyed the Los Blancos faithful, having driven out former Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro out of his first managerial role at Guangzhou Evergrande. His playful taunt regarding Madrid’s 4-0 loss might not endear him to those in the Spanish capital either.
The Brazilian must be skilled in deflecting attention away after suffering a heavy loss, having lost the Brazil job following their 7-1 demolition at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup.