Chelski play Barcelona tomorrow night at Stamford Bridge, in their biggest match of the season so far. Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho’s men, their last line of defence will be a 30-year-old third-choice keeper from Portugal called Hilario. According to the BBC, Hilario and Mourinho are good friends from their time together at Porto. Hilario himself sounds pretty confident. He says: ”This is a huge opportunity for me – the biggest in my
career, and when you get an opportunity like this you have to take it.’
Pub debate: can you really trust a goalkeeper called Hilario? continuedâ€¦
Chelsea can still bring in a goalkeeper on loan, as long as they do so 24 hours before kick-off against
Barcelona. As we reported yesterday, Bolton quickly offered their reserve keepers to stricken Chelsea.
Article 15.20 of Uefa’s Champions League regulations
states that a club may bring a keeper in on loan if their two first
choices are ill/injured.
If Chelsea choose not to bring in another goalkeeper â€“ and it seems very unlikely at this late stage â€“ they will probably have 20-year-old Frenchman Yves Makabu-Makalambay (a commentator’s nightmare, that one) on the bench.
If I was Barca coach Frank Rijkaard, I’d tell my players to test Hilario early on. That said, I have a feeling that Hilario will rise to the occasion and not let his team, or his friend Mourinho, down.