For 19 years, the Chelsea fan has been accustomed to seeing Roman Abramovich use the money to transform the London team into one of the biggest teams in European football and head to Stamford Bridge to see his staff turn a huge financial investment. in sports results.
Given the popularity he has gained over the past two decades, the Russian tycoon, who last week completed the sale of the club after a heavy case caused by his role in the Ukraine War, appeared to be so ubiquitous that he was confused. himself Chelsea.
But, according to former Brazil defender Alex, who played 134 times for the “Blues” and was part of the squad that won the Champions League in the 2011/12 season, the reality was not the same.
“It was very rare for Abramovich to appear at the club. He decided everything and had direct contact with the players was Marina. [Granovskaia, braço-direito do russo] and Peter [Kenyon, na época chefe-executivo do clube]. It took me five or six months to see him for the first time “, said the former player, in a telephone interview with” Blog do Rafael Reis “.
A member of the same Santos generation that exposed Diego and Robinho, Alex was, along with fellow defender Alcides Eduardo, the first Brazilian player employed by the rich man. They were signed by the London club in the 2004/05 transfer window, with Chelsea second only to the Russian.
However, at the time, the former Santista was unable to obtain a visa to work in the UK and had to be loaned out for three years to PSV Eindhoven. Only in 2007, did he get the necessary approval to join the “Blues.
“During the five years I stayed at Chelsea, he rarely came to our locker room. He regularly went to Stamford Bridge, especially in Champions League matches. But after the game, he often left the box straight at home. “
Exceptions usually occur after being eliminated from the continental race. And one of them, after the fall in the 16th phase of 2009/10, is still clearly visible in the memories of that Brazilian.
“The meetings were very long, and he was very angry. At one point he was very angry. We lost to Inter Milan, and the coach was José Mourinho. [três vezes campeão inglês pelo Chelsea]. I don’t think they ever got along well. So it was very painful. The next day, Abramovich went to the training center and demanded more. But he was right: we played that uniform very badly. “
Despite noting that Abramovich was the owner of a less active club than Silvio Berlusconi and Nasser Al-Khelaifi, from Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, a subordinate, the other teams that the Brazilian defended in Europe, Alex recognizes the importance of the Russian in history. Chelsea are unique and will never be found in history.
“If I had been a Chelsea fan since I was a child, this guy would have been a god to me. He is a man who came from another country, took a club that was not internationally known and turned it into a force,” he added. .
The operation was announced a week ago. To win the Champions League, a coalition led by American Todd Boehly, a Los Angeles Lakers (basketball) and Los Angeles Dodgers (baseball) team, will pay $ 3.1 billion (R $ 16, 1 billion).
The money, however, will not add to the wealth of the former owner of the London club. Since Abramovich has been banned from touching his money, the sales agreement allows the money to be first credited to the account and then invested in philanthropic organizations.
The transaction still needs to receive approval from the British tax administration as well as from the Premier League, the organization that organizes the English Premier League. Despite the unusual nature of the deal, which came only because of the war and initially it was not the seller’s wishes, this approval is expected at the end of the month.
Aside from financial and bureaucratic issues, Chelsea still have a short season to play and a decision ahead.
The team led by German coach Thomas Tuchel is playing tomorrow, starting at 12:45 (GMT), the FA Cup final, the championship which they last won in 2018 with their only chance of winning 2021/22 without a blank in English. scenario – won the only European Super Cup.