Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked by Chelsea in February 2009 after just seven months in charge of the Stamford Bridge club.
The former Brazil boss’ departure was blamed on his inability to learn English amid reports he was struggling to communicate with his players.
However, the 69-year-old has since lifted the lid on his swift exit with the Blues and claimed it was actually due to a falling out with Nicolas Anelka.
Anelka had established himself as Chelsea’s first-choice striker that season and did not take well to Scolari’s plans of reverting to a front two following Didier Drogba’s return from injury.
“I had Anelka playing up front. No 9. Top scorer in the league,” he told ESPN Brazil.
“The players return, I make a meeting, and in the meeting I say, ‘Look, now that the players have all returned, Drogba is back after two months…
“‘We will try to work a situation involving the two attackers playing one by the side, one in the centre, changing positions.’
“Then Anelka – the league’s top scorer – said, ‘I do not play on the wing.’
“Well, that’s when I said, ‘You don’t play on the wing, one’s going to be on the left. I’m not going to stay here arguing with you guys.’
“And there began a series of other things.
“I left there and our team was third in the league, three or four points behind top. Qualified for the round-of-16 or quarterfinals of the Champions League.
“But there was this bad environment, that situation.
“I don’t know if I had continued, what would have happened. But it was interrupted. There, I got upset.
“They’ll say, ‘Oh, because you didn’t speak English perfectly.’ Of course, I did not. I didn’t speak English perfectly.
‘But I understood perfectly. We understood, with my English, and the English that was spoken there, we understood perfectly.”