Wearing a credit crunch-busting diamond watch and ring combination, Ricardo Quaresma admitted yesterday he hoped the sparkle would return to his game after seeing it fade in his five months in Italy. The Portuguese winger, signed by Chelsea on transfer deadline day, made only seven league starts at Serie A leaders Internazionale, where his manager was none other than Jose Mourinho.
True to form, Mourinho had battled hard to sign the 25-year-old last August, for £20m, only to feel his man was not up to the challenges of Serie A or the Champions League, omitting him from his squad for the European knockout stages, which start later this month. Tottenham Hotspur were ready to sign him until Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Chelsea manager, stepped in with a loan deal on Monday.
Quaresma, a Portugal international with 23 caps, had a none-too-subtle dig at his former coach upon his unveiling at Chelsea's Cobham training ground yesterday. He said: "I don't believe I have difficulties in great teams. What happens is that at great teams I haven't had the opportunities to show my qualities. I do believe in my worth and qualities."
Unsurprisingly, the product of the renowned Sporting Lisbon youth academy, that also saw Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo emerge, did express regret at having made the move to team up with his fellow countryman last summer. "There were many clubs interested in me when I left Porto but maybe moving to Inter wasn't the best choice," he said. "At the time I thought it was the best choice. Now I'm at Chelsea and I think this is the right move. Life is a risk and maybe the risk I took going to Inter wasn't the right one. Now I'm happy I've come here and I'm looking forward to starting my new career here."
In joining Chelsea's faltering Premier League push – he is ineligible for the Blues' Champions League squad, having played in the group stages already – he is reunited with Scolari. "When you have a coach that believes in you and gives you the opportunity and is confident in you like Scolari is," he said, "I'm sure it will not be a problem for me to show what I can do."Reuse content