Before kicking a ball or even setting foot on a pitch, Jorginho already made himself famous among the Chelsea faithful.
A video showing the emotional moment when his mother saw his shirt hanging up in the official megastore, and the heartfelt tears and hugs that followed, went viral during the summer and instantly endeared the 26-year-old midfielder to the fans, laying bare just how much this move to Chelsea meant to him and his family.
Obviously, it’s a moment he will never forget. It was, as he talked about last month, the culmination of the long and hard road he and his family took to get where he is at the moment. In a recent interview with ESPN Brasil, he reflected on the journey once again.
“It was something fantastic, that I will never forget. And sometimes I look at the video, and I will never get tired of it. I believe that for her, my arrival at Chelsea was surreal. For me it was the same case because who would have thought when I was little that I would get so far [in my career].”
“That moment when she saw the shirt, she thought about everything we went through. All the emotions flooded in and it was wonderful to see it overflow. It was fantastic.”
Jorginho was quite young when he moved from Brazil to Italy, but the real starting point of his career was back in motherland.
As many kids in Brazil do, he one of the many clubs that lack proper infrastructure but are still allowed to receive prospective young football players. Having no money, no food, and at times even hot water, it was the hardest time of his life.
“Before I moved to Italy, from age 13 to 15 I played in a project [in Brazil] and I believe it was the hardest moment [of my life]. I spent one to three months without going back home, and with no money, because [football] planning in Brazil is complicated.
“Also, during winter we had no hot water to take a bath. We had to eat the same food for three consecutive days. Things like that, which for a 13, 14-year old child is not easy [to deal with].”
Having survived those hardships, moving across the Atlantic Ocean was almost easy by contrast, even if he still had no money and only long-shot prospects. His experience of youth football was certainly different than the one on offer at Chelsea, but it all shaped him as a player and a person and motivated him to fight for his ultimate ambitions.
“It was very difficult, but I believe it was all worth it. I would go through it all again [if I had to].”
It’s under Maurizio Sarri that he truly blossomed and he’s continued that mutually beneficial relationship at Chelsea. He’s been an indispensable member of the squad — especially with Cesc Fàbregas injured for most of the season so far — and he’s one of six players to have played every single minute of Premier League football through seven games.
(Rightfully) heralded as the new “maestro” of the team, he’s breaking Premier League records and setting the new tone for the team.
“I am not a maestro, no. I am just another piece in the puzzle”
”Of course I am thoroughly happy [with the passing record]. Every type of record, I believe, brings something to you; brings happiness. It was not different for me.”
Born in Brazil but representing Italy, Jorginho is a mix of the two countries in one person. He brought that mixture to yet another new country, with habits such as eating spaghetti for breakfast — a worthy substitute for the fresh bread that feeds most Brazilian households every morning.
“It is a bit weird [to eat spaghetti for breakfast], but I also grew up in Italy. I arrived there at age 15. So there are some Italians customs that are within me. And it is working so far; I am happy that way!”
-Jorginho; source: ESPN Brasil
All good, as long as it keeps him fit, passing, and winning!