Mourinho welcomes Maniche 'home' to Chelsea

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Maniche will not play in the FA Cup third-round tie against Coca-Cola League One's Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge today because he is not fully match fit. The midfielder, signed from Dynamo Moscow, has not played since the Russian championship ended in November. He moved from Porto to Moscow for £11m last summer.

"Sometimes people think football and happiness is about money," Mourinho said. "But that's not the point. He is not an ordinary player, he is a European champion, he is a Uefa Cup champion, he is an international. To be in Russia, sometimes playing in front of 1,000 people in the stands and in conditions of minus 15 or minus 20 degrees on hard grounds with no grass, just synthetic pitches, does not provide motivation.

"He was on a good contract compared to what he had with Porto in Portugal but money does not bring happiness to winners, and he is a winner. He is 28 and has big things to do."

The Chelsea manager added: "Maniche's CV speaks for itself. He has done great things and he is a Chelsea-level player."

Maniche said: "I have come to the right club and the right country. I came here to win and the proof with Mourinho is that he always wins. It was very difficult for me in Moscow because I didn't have my wife and children with me. The country was very different and they played a different kind of football to the style I was used to. Nobody put a pistol to my head to join Moscow but it was an experience to forget.

"We have to go step by step. I have a contract for six months and I have to think about working hard and helping the team, then maybe I can become a permanent member."

The midfielder added: "I promise above all that within a month I will be speaking English, but the only thing I can say right now in English is that I am very happy to be at Chelsea."

* Mourinho said yesterday that his midfielder Michael Essien was not fit to play in the Africa Cup of Nations. "He has a bad injury to the ankle ligaments," the Chelsea manager said. "The diagnosis is that until the end of the month it will be a recovery period for him. I think Ghana are intelligent enough to understand that if the player is injured the best thing to do is leave him at home. Is he in a condition to start the competition? For sure he isn't."

Where are they now? Porto's 2004 European Cup winners

Victor Baia: (goalkeeper) Still with Porto

Paulo Ferreira: Joined Chelsea for £13.2m, summer 2004

Nuno Valente: Joined Everton for £1.5m, summer 2005

Costinha: Joined Dynamo Moscow for £3m, summer 2005

Jorge Costa: Will join Standard Liège on a free next month

Ricardo Carvalho: Joined Chelsea for £19.85m, summer 2004

Pedro Mendes: Joined Tottenham Hotspur for £2m, summer 2004

Deco: Joined Barcelona for £10m, summer 2004

Carlos Alberto: Joined Corinthians (Brazil) for £5m, January 2005

Derlei: Joined Dynamo Moscow for £5m, January 2005

Maniche: Joined Chelsea for £5m, January 2006

Manager Jose Mourinho: Joined Chelsea, summer 2005

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