Mario MELCHIOT

Mario Melchiot - Chelsea FC - Biography of his football career at Chelsea.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 19 August 2000

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    • POSITION
      Right Back
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Thursday, 04 November 1976
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Amsterdam, Holland
  • CLUBS
  • Birmingham City FC
    • Club Career Dates
      2004-2006
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 14th August 2004 in a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth (Aged: 27)
    • Club Career
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
      1999-2004
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 22nd April 2000 in a 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough (Aged: 23)
    • Club Career
  • Wigan Athletic
    • Club Career Dates
      2007-2010
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 11th August 2007 in a 2-1 defeat at Everton (Aged: 30)
    • Club Career
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Mario MELCHIOT - Chelsea FC - Biography of his football career at Chelsea.

 

 

Dreadlocked Dutchman Mario Melchiot arrived at Chelsea with very little reputation to speak of despite having a Champions League semi-final goal for previous club Ajax under his belt. Signed on a free-transfer from the Amsterdam club in July 1999, Mario had to endure a frustrating eight-month wait before he was able to make his debut, replacing the injured Albert Ferrer at right-back in a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough. A month later he was striding out at Wembley for the FA Cup Final clash with Aston Villa, where his man-of-the-match performance was capped by a dazzling run which led to the free-kick from which the Blues scored their winning goal. Mario clearly found Wembley to his liking, and followed up his Cup Final heroics with his first goal for the club in the Charity Shield win over Manchester United the following August - his low, left-foot shot putting the seal on a 2-0 triumph for the Londoners.

 

Surprisingly, having barely put a foot wrong in Chelsea's colours, Mario found himself out of favour early in the campaign in order for manager Gianluca Vialli to accommodate his new loan-signing, Christian Panucci, but when Vialli was surprisingly sacked just five games into the new season, his successor, Claudio Ranieri, quickly dispensed with the temperamental Panucci and returned Melchiot to the starting line-up. Ranieri was clearly impressed by the Dutchman's tough-tackling, healthy work rate and exemplary attitude, and Mario's 31 League appearances throughout an erratic campaign for the Blues confirmed that he was now very much the man in possession of the right-back berth.

 

Chelsea found a little more consistency during the 2001/02 campaign, and Melchiot began the season in confident mood. A memorable piece of showboating during a 3-2 win at Tottenham showed a hitherto unseen side to his game, but a sending-off against Hapoel Tel Aviv for kicking an opponent was the turning-point of the club's controversial UEFA Cup tie in Israel, which they lost 2-0. Despite a tendency to suffer from occasional lapses in concentration, he was one quarter of a splendid Chelsea defence which at one stage in mid-season conceded just one goal in eight consecutive games.

 

He scored his first League goal for the Blues with a header that sent Chelsea on their way to an incredible 3-0 win at Old Trafford, and he proved that he could score against teams other than Manchester United with a long-range strike in a 3-2 win over Fulham. In January 2002 he became the envy of many a Chelsea supporter when he slapped Teddy Sheringham during a League Cup semi-final defeat to Spurs. Embarrassingly, referee Mark Halsey red-carded Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, although he later revised his decision. That defeat was gleefully avenged in the FA Cup en-route to the Final, where Melchiot and Chelsea lost 2-0 to Arsenal. Mario's consolation was that he ended 2001/02 as Chelsea's top League appearance maker. (Kelvin Barker)