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Deco follows Scolari to Chelsea
by Joe Addison, July 1st, 2008 7:01AM



Portuguese midfielder Deco is making his way from Barcelona to Chelsea in a $16 million move. The Brazilian-born playmaker made the switch after new Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola informed him his services were no longer needed at the Camp Nou.

The 30-year-old Deco is excited at the prospect of playing in the English Premier League.

"It is good for me to be here," he said. "I am sure I have come at the right time to do great things and be able to help Chelsea go back to the way it was and come back to being the first one, not only in England but also to win the Champions League that has been their dream for so long."

The transfer marks a reunion between Deco and former Portuguese coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. Scolari led Portugal to the quarterfinals during Euro 2008 but announced during the group stages that he had agreed to take over at Chelsea once the tournament ended.

Deco joins a strong Portuguese contingent of players at Stamford Bridge, teaming up with countrymen Henrique Hilario, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira and Jose Bosingwa, another offseason signing.

Scolari will be facing some tough decisions for the central positions in Chelsea's midfield.

Along with Deco, the new manager also has Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Michael Essien, Claude Makelele and John Obi Mikel at his disposal. There are rumors , however, that Lampard will reunite with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan.

Deco, though, is relishing the fight for a first-team spot.

"It is great that we have so many great players here at Chelsea," he said, "and it is great that there is the competition which is healthy for everybody and this just makes the team better. To have great players in any position of the club just enhances the club. I know it is a new challenge but I am looking forward to it."

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