‘I really feel at home here’: Jorginho eyeing long-term stay at Chelsea

The Brazil-born Italy midfielder has spent half his life in a footballing odyssey, but now firmly believes he has found his niche in west London

Nick Purewal
Thursday 13 May 2021 10:08 BST
Chelsea fans celebrate reaching Champions League final

Jorginho has pledged his long-term future to Chelsea by declaring he feels “at home” at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazil-born Italy midfielder has spent half his life in a footballing odyssey, but now firmly believes he has found his niche in west London.

Jorginho has regularly been linked with a return to Italy’s Serie A, but one mention of new boss Thomas Tuchel’s infectious man-management reveals the 29-year-old’s determination to stay at Chelsea for the long haul.

His importance as Chelsea’s metronome midfielder should ultimately lead to an extension of his current contract, which runs until 2023.

But Saturday’s FA Cup final against Leicester and the 29 May Champions League final against Manchester City take clear precedence.

“Of course, of course I do feel settled,” Jorginho said. “When I came here, everything was different. But I felt welcome straight away. It feels great after three years, and I know everyone here appreciates what I try to do for the club and for the people. So it feels like home now in England.

“It’s definitely not the time to think about contracts with two finals to play! How could I want to leave the club? That’s not the point. It’s not the point even talking about it now. I’ve got two more years and like I said, I really feel at home here. So there’s no point actually even talking about it. And we have only just started under Thomas - we’ve got a lot more to do here.”

From Brazilian coastal town Imbituba to the King’s Road, Jorginho endured testing apprenticeships en route to prominence at Hellas Verona and Napoli before arriving at Chelsea in 2018.

The guitar-playing £50million recruit has kept rhythm in the Blues’ midfield ever since, but remains acutely aware of how his performances have polarised fan opinion.

New Chelsea boss Tuchel’s stunning start to west London life has removed any lingering argument over the astute tactician’s worth however.

Tuchel has employed his ‘double-six’ twin defensive midfielders to devastating effect as Chelsea have powered to within touching distance of FA Cup and Champions League glory.

In realising his pledge to make Chelsea “horrible” to play against, Tuchel has shone fresh light on Jorginho’s ability to dominate and direct.

So when asked if Tuchel’s system and his role within it finally allows people to see his true value, Jorginho light-heartedly replied: “I hope so! If they don’t by now, they don’t understand football! But the results, the numbers, are there.

“So whoever wants to say something different, they can have their opinion, but it will not affect me in a bad way. Criticism will always be there, in any job. It depends how you take it. And for me, honestly, it’s just motivation, to work even harder.”

Former Paris Saint-Germain manager Tuchel has transformed Chelsea since replacing Frank Lampard on January 26.

The 47-year-old German’s mixture of carrot and stick motivation has found fast favour at Stamford Bridge, entirely belying his vociferous touchline demeanour.

Jorginho explained how Tuchel can scream at his players for 90 minutes - but still retain their full trust and confidence.

“On the pitch he seems quite harsh, always shouting and going crazy,” said Jorginho. “But then you meet him off the pitch and you say ‘is that the same person?’ Off the pitch he’s completely a nice guy, who talks to everyone, tries to understand everyone.

“When he shouts, it is nothing personal. He doesn’t take it personally. Because maybe other coaches they can take it personally; when they shout at someone all the time, maybe in the next game they’re not going to play. But with Thomas it’s not like that at all, it’s just that moment, and then after that it’s completely past.

“So we know that, and that’s why we don’t take it personally as well, when he shouts at someone. Sometimes when someone who has maybe been playing a bit less has the opportunity, they are ready, because they feel involved. If they weren’t feeling involved like that, maybe the results would be different.”

When Chelsea toppled Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final, Jorginho welled up at full-time, caught up in realising lifelong dreams.

Emotions back in check to handle several pivotal weeks, Chelsea’s calmly-spoken creator explained: “You tell me what kid doesn’t dream about winning the Champions League? In that moment at the end against Madrid, I realised how hard I had worked for this, and how hard we all have worked.

“So yes I got emotional, because it’s not just a game. My thoughts turned to my family, my friends, the people who were close to me the whole time, in every single moment in my life. And I’m sure their thoughts were there as well. It was an amazing feeling, reaching the final. Maybe some people can say it’s nothing, but it’s a lot, and now there are two more steps to achieve our dreams.”


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