Luiz Felipe Scolari admits he had trouble controlling the Chelsea dressing room during his ill-fated spell as manager at Stamford Bridge.
The Brazilian, who spent seven months as Blues boss between 2008-09 before a dismal run of results led to his sacking, says the players did not sabotage his time at the helm.
But 62-year-old Scolari has revealed a poor relationship with some members of his squad meant his stint in West London was a testing one.
He told Brazilian station TB Arena Sport TV: "I didn't leave Chelsea because of sabotage from the players, but it is true that it was difficult to control the dressing room.
"In the dressing room at Chelsea, there were many big stars and good players but their behaviour was very different."
Scolari, a World Cup-winning manager with Brazil in 2002, admits his biggest conflict at Chelsea was with Ivorian striker Didier Drogba.
"Drogba believed he was the star in the squad and I did have conflicts with him. He wanted to go to a hospital in Paris because of an injury, but I said no," he said.
"That was my first problem because [Nicolas] Anelka did well in his absence and scored many goals. When Drogba came back he wanted to go straight back into the team but I said no."
The former manager says he set his sights on signing Brazil ace Robinho, while he wanted then Inter Milan striker Adriano as a replacement for Drogba, but claims owner Roman Abramovich blocked both moves.
He added: "I wanted Robinho, but it wasn't possible. I also wanted Abramovich to change Drogba for Adriano at Inter, because it was easier to control him than Drogba."
Scolari says his rift with Drogba was not the only problem he encountered in the dressing room, claiming Michael Ballack was jealous of his midfield rival Deco and refused to talk to the Portugal star.
He said: "Ballack wanted to be one of the owners of the dressing room and the relationship with the German was not easy. He seemed jealous of Deco, did not want his arrival and I had to explain that I was the coach and it was up to me.
"I wanted Deco to work it out with Ballack, but it wasn't possible. They didn't speak to each other."
Scolari, currently manager at Palmeiras after taking the post last year, says the Chelsea fall-out left him needing a break from the game.
"My exit from Chelsea was sad because the Premier League is a wonderful competition and a sensational venue to work," he added.
"I was very depressed after my exit and for two months I didn't want to even talk about football."