Fresh off the back of Wednesday’s official introduction of international team-mate Jose Bosingwa, fellow new signing Deco was presented to the world’s media on Friday lunchtime, and he made his ambitions for his new club more than apparent.
Speaking through a translator (but understanding the English questions posed to him), the 30 year-old was left to fend for himself by manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who arrived with the former Porto and Barcelona playmaker to present him with his new number 20 shirt – a number he yesterday acquired from Paulo Ferreira – before disappearing to take care of business elsewhere.
Initially asked as to whether the presence of Scolari was one that ultimately made his decision to come to Chelsea certain, he played it down, stressing that he would have signed anyway. It set the tone for the rest of the afternoon, as he spoke at length and with confidence, enthusing about his new surroundings and his excitement at what was to come.
“I’ve come to win the Champions League with Chelsea.” With that statement, everyone had what they wanted. The press had their sound bite around which to compile their story, whilst Chelsea fans had their new star attraction targeting the title they were a post’s width away from winning in May. He said he felt Chelsea were unlucky to lose that Final in Moscow, but rather than consider himself as the player who can turn that luck into the club’s favour, he pointed out that he would much rather work as hard as he can to take the club one step further, and claim his third European Cup, each with a different club.
Questions came from all sources about a wide range of matters. Chief amongst these were his time at Barcelona, and the future of Cristiano Ronaldo. Sensibly diplomatic, Deco wouldn’t be drawn on the future of the Manchester United superstar, simply wishing to stay on topic. With regards to Barcelona, he clearly disagrees with the comments of Chairman Joan Laporta, who publicly spoke of his decline:
“Big clubs like Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, when they don’t win a competition it’s a disaster for them and the players come out looking bad. I’m not worried, I believe in myself.” His confidence in his own ability spoke volumes of a man clearly much happier to be a club where he’s wanted, one where he’s experiencing a new culture, with new trends and experiences. Speaking at length about his first few weeks at Chelsea, he said he really liked training at the club, the time of day the players train at, the intensity, the different methods employed by Scolari’s staff, and most importantly, the time spent with the players, building up strong morale and relationships.
Many will point at a man who has won almost everything club football has to offer, who turns 31 less than a fortnight into the season, and suggest he’s merely chasing one last big payday. Once again, though, Deco was calm in his disagreement with such an assessment, telling the assembled journalists that he could have joined any club in Europe – including many offers from England – and that if financial security was an issue, he had far more lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Deco’s €10m arrival at the end of June all but confirmed the departure of Frank Lampard to many, but with his future still unsettled and a heavy point of discussion, he took the time to talk about his current midfield team-mate, and stressed just how much he wants Chelsea’s vice-captain to stay. “Frank is a fantastic player I have played against many times. I have also seen him in training and he is a delight to watch because he works very hard. He has a first class attitude and I am looking forward to playing with him.
“I want to play with him. I’m not sure he will stay but it would be great if he did and we can all play together. You need great players to win the Champions League and he is a great player.
If one line could sum up the attitude of Deco to his new surroundings, there’s little doubt of which it would be. “I felt that Chelsea is right now the best situation for me.” Blues fans have been divided on his signing, but if he shows the same determination to succeed on the pitch to match his technical ability and desire shown today, nobody will be arguing come the end of the season.