Portuguese outlet Mais Futebol features this week an interview with Brazilian former player Maciel, who spent a few years at Porto at the start of the century.
The winger joined the Dragons in January 2004, and despite not being able to feature in European competitions, he was part of the squad that won the Champions League that year.
Maciel was at the time coached by José Mourinho, who ended up leaving Porto for Chelsea in that summer, but due to the few chances under the new manager, the player had to soon leave the Portuguese side as well.
Speaking to Mais Futebol, Maciel reveals that he could’ve taken the same path to Stamford Bridge as his former manager, telling the story about a phone call he received from the Special One right after he sorted his departure from the Dragons.
“Mourinho called me, I spoke to him. He said ‘if you had been with the national team…,” Maciel told Mais Futebol.
“Because I had to be through the Brazilian national team, you know, I think it was needed to have call-ups to move to England, at that time, I don’t know if it’s like that still.”
“He wanted to take me to Chelsea, because the only player who was there, more or less in a similar style, who was much better than me, was Robben.”
“Robben was playing on the left and I could play on the right. I was very flattered, but it didn’t work. I really wanted to go back to playing with the professor.”
Maciel ended up never getting a chance to play in a major league, as following his departure from Porto, he turned out for Athletico Paranaense, União Leiria, Braga, Skoda Xanthi and many minor Brazilian sides before retiring in 2016.