There have been very few bright spots in Chelsea's 2015/16 season, which resulted in the club's best-ever manager, Jose Mourinho, being sacked on Thursday morning. In an interview to Brazilian newspaper Lance!, Willian, one player who has shone throughout the dismal campaign,spoke about how life in London has been, and how it's much easier living in England than the Ukraine.
"I'm very adapted to the country, I've been living here for a while and I feel great here. My English skills are also much better, I'm already giving interviews in English and this helps a lot."
"London is a city I'm very fond of, it's a marvellous place. I enjoy the city whenever we're not playing, it's quite good. It's not even fair [comparing it to Ukraine]. Everything is different: the language, the city. I prefer living here, you can find things much easier. It's more accessible."
Since Ramires' and David Luiz's arrival, Chelsea have maintained a strong core of Brazilian players. But Willian claimed the group doesn't meet outside the club as often as most people would think, saying he gets along with everyone at the same rate no matter which nationality they hold.
"We don't go out as often. We don't really meet outside the club. I can't say who's my best friend in the squad; there are too many. I get along with the Brazilians as much as I do with the others."
On Chelsea's poor start, Willian said it's hard to play as league champions but this shouldn't be an excuse for our poor form in the league.
"This year we didn't have a good start, we lost a lot of silly points and now we have to run against time. It's hard to play as a champions - not that this is an excuse - since your opponents come in very focused and prepared to face you. It gets more complicated for us, but this can't be used as an excuse."
"[The Champions League and the Premier League] are two very different competitions. I can't say for certain what is the reason but we always know where we made a mistake, and we're looking to improve ourselves to see the results back in the league as well. It's very important to have a good campaign in both competitions."
José Mourinho was sacked yesterday mostly due to our current league form as well as a "palpable discord" between the players and Chelsea's now-former manager. According to Willian, not a single player made plans to take Mourinho out of his previous job.
"My relationship with [José] Mourinho is and always has been very good. I have never had any issues with him, he always helped me a lot ever since he arrived at the club. About his season, what I can say is that he's been doing the same things he did in the last one. Nothing has gotten worse, his work is practically the same."
"There are no problems [within Chelsea]. The English press creates and releases stories that have no grasp to reality. I have never heard anyone saying bad things about Mourinho behind his back, nor wanting to take him out of his job. A Chelsea player would never conspire to take down a manager, as the board are the ones who take this kind of decision. This doesn't relate to us."
Willian has been one of Chelsea's main goalscorers this season, deserving praise from the public and the media for his newly found skill with his free-kick routine. And he's glad to have the recognition due to his hard work to improve on that area.
"I'm quite happy for the compliments. This is an outcome of my day-by-day training. I take five or six free-kicks from the same place by the end of every training. I'm inspired and I study a lot of free-kick takers such as Marcelinho Carioca - my biggest inspiration -, Juninho Pernambucano, David Beckham, Ronaldinho Gaúcho - even [Andrea] Pirlo. I try to analyze all these players, their ideas and their tools and to take them onto the pitch."
Slotting right into the first-team squad on his arrival, Kenedy hasn't seen as many opportunities for the club but always impressed supporters on his few showings. Willian praised the youngster for his attitude, as him along with other players have helped him adapt to the new club and the new country.
"Kenedy is a great kid, he has everything to be a great player, a great individual. We have been helping him here ever since he arrived, giving him some tips, this is important."
While London and the North Hemisphere are set to go through winter, Brazil and the South Hemisphere are on the verge of summer. And Willian misses the hot temperatures in Brazil, especially in the London winter.
"The only thing I miss from Brazil is the heat, even more in the winter when it gets really cold here. Beyond that, of course that I miss my friends, my family, our reunions; I also miss this a lot."
In the Brazilian national team, Willian has been one of key members within the squad under Dunga's guidance. While he's still not the main free-kick taker for the Seleção, Willian said this is not a big issue for him as long as he can help the national team get good results.
"I'm quite happy with what I'm doing in the national team and I intend to keep on doing more. I really think it's been a great year for me [in Brazil], very productive and special. It's important for me to keep on doing this, helping the team."
"My relationship with Dunga is great, he always gives me a lot of confidence to do my work in the best way possible."
"I think [taking free-kicks for the national team] is something to discuss on the pitch during the game. Neymar always took free-kicks in the Seleção and always did well, so it's alright. If I have the chance, of course it will be cool for me."
"I think it's more of a matter of discussing it with him at the time, whoever is better want and will take the free-kick. We can resolve that between ourselves."
Along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Willian's national team partner Neymar managed to be among the top three players in the Ballon d'Or shortlist. And while Neymar is miles away from receiving the prize at this point in his career, Willian said he's still rooting for him to get it - although he also hopes to be in the dispute one day.
"We already expected that from him, especially at this very moment. In every game he always plays well, he won La Liga and the Champions League. I'm very happy for him, as he's not only a great person but also a great player. I created a good friendship with him in our meetings at the national team so I'm very happy with this achievement. If he managed to get the Ballon d'Or it will be awesome. He certainly has my vote. I'm really rooting for him."
"[My biggest dream] is to win a World Cup. Be among one of the best players of the world is also another great goal. I will keep on fighting so this can become reality one day."
-Willian; Source: Lance!Net