Maurizio Sarri says 'Chelsea could beat England' and labels international football 'inferior'
Maurizio Sarri says his Chelsea team would beat England because international football is so inferior it is not worth watching.
The Blues host Newcastle this evening having failed to score in their last two Premier League home games and on the back of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup first leg defeat by Tottenham.
Yet despite such stuttering form the Italian was confident that should his players ever get to take on Gareth Southgate‘s Three Lions they would inevitably come out on top.
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“Could Chelsea beat England? I think so. Why not?” he said. “Our level is not less than the England national team.
“I didn’t see a single match in the World Cup. I don’t like the national teams because there is not anything to learn from them.
“Every coach thinks like me, it is unusual to say it: it is impossible to organise a team very well in 30 days. Every team in the World Cup would lose against the top-level club teams in every match. But that is normal. At a club you have more time to organise. It is a question of time.”
Sarri celebrated his 60th birthday after the Tottenham loss and had his hair shaved extremely short. The Italian revealed that the length of his hair was dependent on results on the pitch.
“When I lose a match, I cut my hair,” he said. “I hope in the future I can arrive here like Simonetta [his translator, who has long hair]. I have been doing this for five years. In my last three years at Napoli we lost 12 matches in three seasons but it is short because I lost three days ago.”
The only goal on Tuesday night, scored by Harry Kane from the penalty spot, followed a VAR over-ruling of the on-pitch officials’ decision to penalise the Spurs striker for being offside.
Chelsea controversially went on to make public their own footage, which had been filmed from a different angle, and claimed it proved the original decision had been correct. Sarri was unimpressed however.
“It was a mistake but it wasn’t really very important,” he said. “We are talking about 10 seconds of the match and we have to think about the other 89 minutes. It is only a referee’s decision. I have to analyse the full match.”
Sarri also branded Bayern Munich as disrespectful for making public their desire to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The German champions are willing to pay £35m for the 18-year-old, who is understood to be open to the move and so far resisting Chelsea’s attempts to extend a contract that has 18 months remaining.
The declaration by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, that Bayern “really want to sign him” has angered the Stamford Bridge hierarchy however.
“I think that it is not professional because they are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea so they didn’t respect our club,” said Sarri, who then outlined ways Hudson-Odoi needed to improve to become a Chelsea regular.
“I am happy with the player because he is improving a lot in the defensive phase. Now he needs to improve in some movements without the ball but he is working very well at the moment so I am very happy with the player and would like to have him in the future.”
Sarri is hoping a deal can be struck to sign Gonzalo Higuain, the Juventus striker currently on loan at AC Milan and who was a prolific scorer under him at Napoli.
Sarri is also keen to sign a central midfielder to replace Cesc Fabregas, who made an emotional farewell at the weekend in the FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest before joining Thierry Henry’s Monaco on a three-and-a-half year deal on Friday.