Luiz: Mourinho isn't so great
Mourinho will show former Blues defender why he is the Special One
ROUND OF 16, SECOND LEG
CHELSEA v PARIS ST GERMAIN
(Tomorrow, 3.40am, Singtel TV Ch 111)
- Teams tied at 1-1 from first leg
The former pupil is returning in another club's colours.
He holds fond memories of his time at Chelsea.
In three-and-a-half years, David Luiz won the Champions League, the Europa League and the FA Cup.
The Paris Saint-Germain player spoke of "great moments at Chelsea" and how happy he was during his stint.
Not so "great", however, was his opinion of Jose Mourinho, the manager who after selling Luiz for £50 million ($104m) claimed that the defender would not be missed by the London club.
"He (Mourinho) is special for you, not for me," said Luiz, ahead of PSG's Champions League Round-of-16 second-leg clash at Stamford Bridge tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
How Mourinho, the self-styled Special One, responds to the slight may define his legacy at Chelsea.
Luiz, 27, may bear a grudge but he also has a point.
Mourinho is guaranteed a spot in Chelsea's Hall of Fame, but the Champions League trophy remains elusive in his two stints at Stamford Bridge.
He has led Porto and Inter Milan to stunning Champions League triumphs but, with the Blues, he has fallen short.
Chelsea's most successful manager has delivered two league titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups but has yet to go beyond the semi-final stage in Europe's top club competition.
In the first campaign (2004/05) of his first spell, his Chelsea were denied in the last four by Liverpool's Luis Garcia's "ghost goal".
Two seasons later, they were stopped again by the same club, who beat them on penalties at the same stage.
Last term, it was Atletico Madrid's turn to scupper his dreams one step before the final.
There is unfinished business. It's a stubborn blotch on the report card that Mourinho must erase.
Taking out PSG in front of the home fans inches him closer to his goal.
His players pack the required finesse and fight. No other English Premier League team look more capable of going all the way than them.
The side's superb balance is achieved through outstanding all-round quality in every department.
Thibaut Courtois in goal is the reason Chelsea are still in the tie, after thwarting Laurent Blanc's team time and again in the 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes three weeks ago.
John Terry leads from the back and Nemanja Matic provides a sturdy shield from midfield. Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas stretch opposing backlines, carving out the space for Diego Costa to strut his stuff.
Mourinho, 52, possesses the experience, know-how and single-mindedness.
But, like Chelsea, PSG dream big too.
At 1-1, the French Ligue 1 club are still in a good position to make the last eight at Chelsea's expense.
With funds provided by their Middle East owners, they have assembled a squad capable of matching the continent's best. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva and Marco Verratti make sure of that.
But Mourinho knows what to expect.
Last season, he masterminded a quarter-final win, on away goals, over the Parisian outfit.
He is also fuelled by a desire to complete the trophy collection with the Champions League trophy.
To do that, he must make Luiz eat his words. And chance are, he will.
We know the quality of PSG and the job that lies ahead of us. It’s going to be like a final, a big one-off game, and we’ll be ready to go out there and give it everything we have to get us into the next round.
— Blues defender Gary Cahill
He is special for you, not for me. They are having a great season, defend well and have great players, but I know my team. We will try to score there and play like we know how. We have a good game plan and will implement it the best way possible to achieve a great performance.
— Former Chelsea defender David Luiz, saying that Jose Mourinho is nothing special