Chelsea midfielder Ramires has hit out at some of his team-mates and accused them of hiding when Andre Villas-Boas was in charge.
The Brazilian, who is set to start in today’s FA Cup final against Liverpool but is suspended for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in a fortnight, fully supported Villas-Boas before the Portuguese was sacked in March.
But on the eve of Chelsea’s first chance to win silverware for two years, Ramires has revealed that some players did not want to play for the club while Villas-Boas was in charge. “There were players who didn’t want the ball because they had no confidence in themselves under Andre and, in fact, there were players who did not want to play,” said Ramires.
“There aren’t many differences between Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo,” he said. “We are not a new Chelsea under Di Matteo. Villas Boas tried everything with us, but the team didn’t work — we were just playing so badly. We didn’t trust in ourselves under Villas-Boas, so it was difficult for him to make the team work.”
Ramires was one of the few bright spots in the Chelsea team while Villas-Boas was in charge, but others got on less well with the young coach, who fell out with Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka during his brief spell at the club.
“When we were having troubles and the team was losing under Villas-Boas, there were some players who didn’t want to play,” said Ramires, “but now the team has reached two finals, everyone wants to play.”
Ramires spoke of his pleasure at helping out the team in any position: he played as a defensive midfielder under Villas-Boas, and is now an attacking midfielder under Di Matteo. “I even played at right-back against Barcelona, but seriously, I will play anywhere.”
He was the decisive player in the Champions League semi-final, setting up Drogba for the first leg’s winning goal and then scoring Chelsea’ crucial first away goal at Camp Nou just seconds after he had been booked and ruled out of the final.
By then, John Terry had been sent off for kneeing Alexis Sanchez in the back, and Ramires revealed that Terry broke down in tears in the dressing room after the game. “He didn’t say a word in the dressing room at half-time,” Ramires told Brazilian station Arena Sport TV. “He said nothing at all.
“But then [after the game] he came and apologised to us, he even started to cry. He cried a lot and it was [his] way of saying, ‘I’m sorry, guys’.
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