As one of the most decorated players in the history of FC Porto, Paulo Futre is an icon within Portuguese football. However, despite a normally mild mannered personality, the Portuguese has come out firing at his former clubs UEFA Champions League opponents, Chelsea. The Blues will meet the Dragões in a highly anticipated last eight encounter – the first time Blues have reached the last eight since 2014. However, the fury stems from reports that the Chelsea team celebrated and cheered as they were drawn with Porto.
Given the Portuguese outfit knocked out Juventus en route to the last eight, that might seem presumptuous. And football has a habit of teams who celebrate in such a manner being taught a lesson when matchday arrives. However, when speaking to Portuguese channel CMTV, Futre could not hide his anger at what he had heard had taken place at Stamford Bridge.
He was furious with the apparent happiness of Chelsea to draw his former club and gave an angry response when asked about it on TV. Given his previous success with Porto, Futre has often come out fighting in the media to defend Porto.
What did Paulo Futre say about Chelsea?
Futre was on TV when asked about his view of the draw, and he could not contain his irritation at the way the draw was reportedly received by Chelsea players. Speaking to CMTV, he said: “Chelsea players celebrated when they heard that they had drawn Porto. How did I know? It’s in the English press and I called later to confirm.
“FC Porto players have to run like never before in these two games. Do you know why? Because Chelsea think they have already won the tie. They celebrated!
“When I spoke to the source I was disgusted and I would give anything to play against Chelsea .
“FC Porto players now have to give their all on the pitch, because Chelsea think they are already in the semi-finals. They celebrated in the morning when they saw they got FC Porto. Porto can get through, but they have to sweat blood.”
The tie will take place on the 7th April, when the first leg will take place in Portugal. The second leg, at Stamford Bridge, will take place on the 13th April. Given Porto have a poor record of heading to England to take big results in the past, the pressure is absolutely on Chelsea to get the job done as soon as is possible.
The two clubs have a long history, with many players and coaches having enjoyed time at both clubs during their career. Previous matches, too, have often been tight and challenging affairs. The winner of the tie will have the chance to face off against one of either Liverpool or Real Madrid.
All four teams who could play against one another, then, will hope to be the ones celebrating come mid-April. For Chelsea, though, the objective is clear: don’t allow pre-match celebrations to become post-match sorrow.