Forgotten Blues: Maniche

In recent seasons, Chelsea haven’t brought in many players on loan. Alexandre Pato and Falcao spent a short spell at Stamford Bridge, but the number of players to sign for the Blues isn’t extremely high.

This week’s Forgotten Blue is a former loanee, Maniche.

Spending the majority of his early career in his native Portugal, Maniche had spells at Benfica, Alverca, and Porto. He was a part of Jose Mourinho’s squad as the Dragões beat Monaco in the 2004 Champions League final.

He left Portugal in 2005 and signed for Russian side Dynamo Moscow. But only after six months in the Russian capital, the midfielder was unsettled and wanted a move elsewhere.

And in January 2006, Maniche left the club on loan and was reunited with former manager Mourinho at Chelsea.

He made his debut for the Blues against Charlton, as the Addicks held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge and lost their 100% home win, Maniche played the last half hour as he replaced Irishman Damien Duff.

Appearing mostly off the bench, Maniche made his first start against West Ham at Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese missed a golden opportunity to score his first Chelsea goal, but saw his shot come off the crossbar from six yards out. He received his marching orders only moments later, after a challenge on Lionel Scaloni saw him sent off by referee Chris Foy.

His spell at Stamford Bridge only lasted less than six months, and he made eight league appearances, and subsequently missed out on a Premier League winners’ medal as he did not make enough appearances.

Chelsea declined the opportunity to turn Maniche’s transfer into a permanent one, and he returned to Moscow.

He then moved to the Spanish capital, signing permanently for Atletico Madrid. After a good first season, things started to turn sour and he had a falling out with manager Javier Aguirre. He was cut from the squad and subsequently signed for Inter Milan on loan.

After a stint in Italy, he returned to Atletico and was a key player at the start of the new season. But in February 2009, he had another falling out with the management and rejected the club’s offer of a new deal and left the club following the expiration of his contract in June 2009.

A move to the Bundesliga followed as he signed for Koln. He only spent a year in Germany, making 26 league appearances, before leaving the club and returning to Portugal. He signed for Sporting in 2010, but the two parties agreed to terminate his contract.

Maniche decided to hang up his boots, after failing to find a new club.

Since his retirement, Maniche has had two assistant manager jobs in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. His first job was at Pacos Ferreira, where he assisted former teammate Costinha. He was also appointed assistant at Segunda Liga side Academica de Coimbra, but left after four months in the role.

About the Author

Ryan Payne
I'm a Sports Journalism student at the University of Gloucestershire, and a student member of the Football Writers' Association. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @RyanPayne31.