Front and center right now on the Chelsea official site is our latest masked hero, Kenedy. How many does that make now over the last few seasons? Are we past a dozen yet?
Kenedy joins the ranks of the Masked Men. pic.twitter.com/ot7S39m0LQ— Dávid Pásztor (@D_Peezy) April 2, 2016
Kenedy was forced off at half-time after suffering the blow to his nose in our 2-2 draw against West Ham United before the international break. As with most injuries, it was rather poorly timed; Kenedy was finally playing as an actual attacker, rather than as a makeshift left back! Though in fairness, even when playing in that unfamiliar position, he almost made up for his lack of defensive nous with his usual brand of enthusiasm, skills, verve, and tenacity. In fact, it was those physical qualities that we glimpsed first way back in pre-season, when he made his debut against Barcelona and muscled Luis Suarez off the ball repeatedly.
''I'll never forget my first day at Chelsea. Jose Mourinho looked at me and said: 'Let's see if you really are good, boy'."
"I knew beforehand that Chelsea's youngsters normally go out on loan for a couple of seasons. It might be good for some players, but I really wanted to stay here straight away. Luckily I could show my football ability and convince them I was worth a place in the squad."
We liked what we saw, and so did Jose Mourinho. The boy from Brazil was here to stay. And lately, even here to play! And what a journey it's been for the young man, as he reveals in his wonderful interview with FourFourTwo.
''I played loads of street football in my childhood back in Brazil. You wouldn't believe it if I told you what my feet were like after a proper game in the streets of Santa Rita!"
"If I'm a fast and skillful footballer nowadays, that's because of everything I have learnt in the street. During those sunny days in Brazil, there weren't trophies to dream of. The pride of winning and, above all, avoiding getting thirsty after matches was all he could ask for. "
"We played for a Coca Cola in those days; I mean, the winners were entitled to a bottle of coke. If you lose, you pay for your opponents' prize. A bottle of Coke was something we could afford back then and a way to make things serious. When I say serious, I mean really serious, you know? It was our own World Cup, nothing could be more important than winning those games against my friends. However, I've drunk much more Coke than I paid it for others."
Kenedy drank their
milkshake Coke. Boss.
Not much has gone right for us this season, but the promise shown by the likes of Kenedy could be one small silver lining moving forward.
''I'm happy with my own performances so far in England. I mean, it's my first season in the Premier League and it's not easy to adapt to the best football in the world. But I'm aware that I have plenty of room to improve and I'll be better next season for sure."
''I want to play. I don't really care if I'm playing as a full-back or a forward. As long as I'm on the pitch wearing a Chelsea shirt I'm proud and happy for having another opportunity."
Here's to a long career to the boy named after someone else to whom many looked for the promise of a better future.
"It's my dream to become a Chelsea regular. I'm very hungry and proud to be at one of the giant clubs of the world. It depends only on me to make a big impact here and I'm working hard to achieve it sooner rather than later."
-Kenedy; source: FourFourTwo