The Irish Mail on Sunday

Chelsea’s trio in Rio can win with Scolari

- By Joe Bernstein

road and see people who are blond-haired, blue-eyed, olive-skinned, Indian or Japanese. Maybe it is why Brazilians have this reputation for being happy; everyone is welcome here. ose ound. cause hough e s ttached l. ow lay tia ow s

Oscar’s Brazil by Tom Watt is published by Blink Publishing on June 5 (£20). S SINCE 1966 only two players based in England have won the World Cup as starters in the final – Emmanuel Petit (Arsenal) and Frank Leboeuf (Chelsea), who were members of the France side that beat Brazil 3-0 in 1 1998.

But all that could change t this summer with three C Chelsea players – Ramires, Willian and Oscar – in Felipe Scolari’s squad for favourites Brazil. It would have been four but David Luiz has a agreed to sign for Paris S Saint-Germain.

The first Samba c connection at Stamford Bridge came when the club appointed Scolari as manager in 2008. But he was sacked after eight months after falling out with a number of influentia­l players, including John Terry, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

Now the second wave of Brazilian influence has proved far more successful.

Ramires was signed f from Benfica in 2010 after h he had been Brazil’s stand- out player at that year’s World Cup in South Africa. It was his goal in Barcelona that helped Chelsea gain an unlikely result to reach the Champions League final in 2012, which they won.

In the past few years, Roman Abramovich’s Brazilian revolution has gathered pace. Luiz signed from Benfica at the start of 2011 and immediatel­y became a cult figure among Chelsea fans.

Oscar arrived from Internacio­nal for £25million in 2012 and Abramovich gazumped Spurs to sign Willian nearly a year ago.

With Jose Mourinho now back in charge and seeking a more pragmatic approach, the influence of Brazil may wane in coming seasons. Oscar and Luiz did not feature towards the end of last season – and now Luiz is leaving.

Even so, Chelsea may yet be about to have a trio of World Cup winners on their hands.

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