Thursday Kickoff: Mourinho blasts West Ham; Juninho hangs up his boots; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Mourinho blasts West Ham; Juninho hangs up his boots; and more

South American Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Mourinho blasts West Ham; Juninho hangs up his boots; and more

JoseMourinhoChelsea1-WestHam2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was not a happy man on Wednesday evening.

Following a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge against fellow London club West Ham United, Mourinho lashed out at West Ham manager Sam Allardyce for his tactical approach, calling it “19th century football.” Despite the scoreline and tactics, Chelsea had numerous chances to score including an early chance from Oscar that hit the crossbar and another shot by Eto’o that was palmed away by West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.

“It’s very difficult to play a football match where only one team wants to play, very difficult,” Mourinho told reporters after the match. “A match is about two teams playing. This match was only one team playing and another team not. I cannot be too critical because, if I was in this position, I don’t know if I would do the same. But at the same time this is not Premier League. This is not the best league in the world. This is football from the 19th century.”

The draw meant that Chelsea remained in third place in the English Premier League, two points behind Arsenal and three behind leaders Manchester City. In response, Allardyce laughed off Mourinho’s comments, saying that the Chelsea manager was just upset.

“He can’t take it, can he?” Allardyce told reporters following the game. “He can’t take it because we’ve out-tactic-ed him, out-witted him. He just can’t cope. He can tell me all he wants. I don’t give a shite, to be honest. I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate the officials, and José jumping up and down in his technical area. It’s great to see.”

Here are some more stories to start off your morning:

JUNINHO SET TO ANNOUNCE RETIREMENT

One of the world’s greatest free kick takers is set to call an end to his career.

Roberto Dinamite, president of Brazilian club Vasco da Gama, confirmed to reporters in Brazil that midfield wizard Juninho Pernambucano has decided to retire from soccer after a 21-year professional career that spanned the globe. Juninho returned to Vasco this past summer after a five-month spell with the New York Red Bulls but was unable to save the club from relegation. After suffering a thigh injury in November, Juninho had been working to return to fitness ahead of this year’s Rio de Janeiro state championship but he had reportedly been unable to reach a level of fitness that satisfied him.

“I want to make the official decision of Juninho Pernambucano,” Dinamite said. “During the past week we had already talked about it, and he decided to end his career. On Monday, Juninho will make his farewell as a Vasco player. He will give a press conference, and you (journalists) will be able to ask whatever you want.”

After making his professional debut with Sport Recife in 1993, the now 39-year-old Juninho moved to Vasco two years later and spent six years at the club, winning the Brazilian league twice and the Copa Libertadores in 2008. In 2001 Juninho moved to France and joined Lyon, beginning a dynasty that saw him seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles between 2002 and 2008.

Following a two-year spell with Qatari club Al-Gharafa, Juninho played a year and a half once more with Vasco before giving Major League Soccer a try. Following a frustrating month with less than desired results, Juninho and the Red Bulls mutually agreed to part ways, allowing the playmaker to return home to Brazil with Vasco one last time. 

BRAZILIAN CLUBS FALL ON TWO DAY OF COPA LIBERTADORES

It wasn’t good night for Brazilian clubs in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday.

Both Botafogo and Atletico Paranaense fell on the road in the first round of the South American competition, setting up must-win matches at home next Wednesday. Playing in Ecuador, Botafogo, who had current AC Milan Clarence Seedorf on squad the last two seasons, fell 1-0 to Deportivo Quito thanks to a goal by former Chivas USA midfielder Victor Estupiñan.

Paranaense meanwhile traveled to Lima, Peru to take on Sporting Cristal, with the home team prevailing, 2-1. Sporting took the lead in the 29th minute when Irvin Avila slotted home inside the box, though Paranaense pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 54th minute to level the scoreline. However, Sporting earned a penalty kick of their own and Carlos Lobaton made no mistake with his shot into the top corner to give Sporting a huge first-leg win.

QUICK KICKS

Valencia have confirmed that they have agreed loan deals with an option to buy for both Helder Postiga and AS Roma and Andres Guardado and Bayer Leverkusen. (REPORT)

The French courts have dropped all charges on both Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery after their role in an alleged solicitation of a minor . (REPORT)

Sunderland have confirmed the signing of Internacional forward Ignacio Scocco on a two and a half year contract. (REPORT)

Chelsea are set to complete the signing of French youth international Kurt Zouma from Saint-Etienne for a fee of €15 million. (REPORT)

Former Brazilian star Zico has resigned as manager of Qatari club Al-Gharafa just six months into a two-year contract following three straight defeats. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Mourinho’s comments? Think that he should worry about his own team? What are your most memorable moments in Juninho’s career?

Share your thoughts below.

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