DECO JOINS FLUMINENSE
Deco has today (Saturday) signed for Brazilian side Fluminense for an undisclosed fee.
The midfielder, 32, agreed terms this evening having been allowed to leave the club for Brazil last week on compassionate grounds, ahead of the clubs agreeding a deal.
We wish Deco and his family well in the future, and thank him for his service to Chelsea.
During his two-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Deco provided glimpses of his immense talent - a debut goal from 30 yards rounded off a 4-0 win against Portsmouth in August 2008 as we stormed to the top of the Premier League under Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose knowledge of the player from their time together with the Portugal national team had persuaded him to make him his only summer signing.
A sublime free-kick into the top corner at Wigan a week later suggested Deco would settle very well indeed into English football, but he was limited to just 17 league starts in an injury-ruined campaign with a range of muscular issues.
One more piece of magic did come in that first season, a dynamic overhead kick against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, and it was against the same side that he played his best football in last season's Double-winning campaign.
Sandwiched together during a busy run of games in October, the two games were lit up by Deco's range of passing and crisp finishing, in the first he smashed home from the edge of the area and in the second swept home after a rapid Chelsea counter-attack.
Injuries were an issue though, and while effective in all areas of midfield when he did play, particularly in wins at home to Aston Villa and away to Manchester United, where his ball retention was almost impeccable, all too frequently he was sidelined, and for the second time in as many seasons he sat out the final month of the campaign, missing our historic Double.
It was a disappointing end for a truly blessed player, who in total appeared 42 times from the start and 16 as a sub, scoring six times.