In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Chelsea legend Claude Makelele admits he was not a fan of Ronaldhinho’s ‘Playstation tricks’ and Didier Drogba gives his opinion on former Blues team-mates Eden Hazard and David Luiz.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Makelele no fan of Ronaldinho’s trickery
In an interview for French broadcasters RMC Sport, Blues midfield legend Claude Makelele said he was not a fan of Ronaldinho’s ‘Playstation tricks’ and even warned the Brazilian not to use them against him on the pitch.
The two players were regular foes when Chelsea met Barcelona in the Champions League for three consecutive seasons in the mid-2000s. But while Ronaldinho was then at his peak, twice winning the FIFA World Player of the Year award, Makelele felt he went too far with his tricks and was not as effective a player as his France team-mate Zinedine Zidane.
'Zidane was an artist, but every move he made was to add something to the attack or to advance,’ said Makelele to his former Chelsea team-mate William Gallas.
'He took some beating and, in that context, you can't say anything. With Ronaldinho, it was the same thing and in that context, you can't say anything. But at some point, he started to go too far.'
Asked by Gallas whether he had ever confronted the Brazilian, Makelele told him of one incident on the pitch.
Said the former Blues midfielder: ‘I told him, “I would rather you come at me and dribble past me properly. But with all your PlayStation tricks, I’m going to put you in hospital!”
‘What did he do? He gave me the ball and apologised.'
Hazard already a Chelsea legend: Drogba
In an interview with Goal.com, Didier Drogba claimed Eden Hazard had already secured legendary status at Chelsea and is delighted with the resurgence of David Luiz at Stamford Bridge this season.
Drogba, who helped convince Hazard to join the Blues in 2012, is impressed with the Belgian’s development since they played together on our 2014/15 Premier League-winning campaign.
‘He has become more clinical," said the Ivorian of the 28-year-old. ‘It comes with age as well. He is very efficient and I am really happy to see that. He is leading the team, carrying the team on his shoulders and he is doing that well.
‘He is someone who has got very high expectations of himself and his team-mates because he wants to win. Sometimes this pushes you to do a little bit more to do well because you want your team-mates to get to your level. This happens sometimes, but the more he plays in these big games, he reads the game better.
‘He is a legend, look at what he achieved in six years at the club. He won the league twice, won the FA Cup, won Player of the Year.
‘He brought something that we hadn’t seen for such a long time. The closest I can bring to him if I compare, if I may, is [Gianfranco] Zola. The talent to dribble, to make the difference and dribble one-versus-one. That’s him.’
Drogba is also pleased to see his 2012 Champions League final team-mate David Luiz playing regularly for the Blues once again after his struggles with form and fitness last season.
‘David is a great player. He is a fantastic player,’ he said of the Brazilian. ‘I played with him a few years ago, and I really enjoyed playing with him. I enjoyed having him in my team because you know you are safe.
‘Last year was a bit difficult for him, but the season before he was really good. I think it is a matter of confidence between you and the manager and how the feeling is going. Also injuries, last year it was difficult for him to recover, but now he is at his best. I am really happy for him.
‘Everyone at the club loves David, but if he stays at the club, I will be happy. He is not only bringing happiness to the club, but he also is now one of the faces of the club, and he is a very good player. He is performing right now, so if it was up to me [I would sign him].’
Slavia to appeal stadium closure
The Associated Press is reporting that Slavia Prague are planning to launch an appeal after they were ordered to play the home leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Chelsea in a partially closed stadium.
UEFA handed the punishment to the Czech club after crowd disturbances during their round of 32 match against Belgian side Genk in February when Slavia fans set off fireworks and threw objects onto the field.
Slavia complained they had only been informed of the punishment by UEFA after announcing that the match against Chelsea at Eden Arena on April 11 had been sold out.
The Czech side reached the quarter-finals after beating five-time winners Sevilla 6-5 on aggregate in the last round.