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I'M HERE FOR DECORATION; CHELSEA BUBBLING BLUES Star vows to put flair into title bid.

Byline: BY DARREN LEWIS

DASHING Deco last night insisted he is ready to decorate Chelsea's title bid with a splash of flair.

The former Barcelona star has been outstanding on the Blues' tour of Russia and the Far East, and again excelled in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing of AC Milan.

He maintains he is ready to become 'Art Deco' as Luiz Felipe Scolari bids to transfer Chelsea's pre-season form to the Premier League.

Deco, 30, said: "Everybody wants to see good football. The first rule for winning football is to make sure we play well. But for all that, we'll try to play good, exciting football.

"Our opponents are always going to be trying to stop us from doing that. Sometimes the games won't be as spectacular as we'd like.

"That's just the way it is. But this team has players with great quality who can play high-calibre football. Good quality and exciting football.

"It's the responsibility of all of us to play exciting football, and I'm more than happy to assume that role."

The double Champions League winner - who has featured in all of Chelsea's warm-up matches in Guangzhou, Macau, Kuala Lumpur and Moscow - added: "It's been a really good way for me to get to know my new team-mates.

"I've felt really comfortable out on the pitch. It's only the very beginning for me at this club, but I've been really pleased with the way things have gone so far."

Scolari has already shown, in fielding the Portuguese schemer alongside Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack, that there will be no problems with bruised egos this season.

Yet Deco admits he does not expect to walk into the team just because he has worked with Scolari in his national side. He went on: "I don't think the important thing is who is going to play, but whoever is selected plays well."

Chelsea's chances of boosting their attacking options by buying Real Madrid forward Robinho receded yesterday when influential Wesley Sneijder was ruled out for up to a year with knee ligament damage.

It means Real could hang on to Robinho, who has made it clear he would rather move to London. Deco insists he would welcome the Brazilian with open arms.

He said: "He's a spectacular player with incredible skill. Robinho has magic and is capable of anything on a football pitch."

Nicolas Anelka refused to be carried away with the mauling of Milan in Moscow.

Rumours abounded that the below-strength Italians prepared with a night on the town, and four-goal Anelka said: "It was only a friendly.

"The first match of the season against Portsmouth is the important one - and I hope I can do the same then."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 5, 2008
Words:449
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