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Willian bids farewell to Chelsea with heartfelt open letter

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Bye, friend

Chelsea FC v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Stephanie Meek - CameraSport via Getty Images

If there was any doubt remaining about the future of Willian at Chelsea, the veteran winger, who’s also celebrating a birthday today, his 32nd, made his departure from the club official with a heartfelt letter posted to Instagram.

With Chelsea’s 2019-20 season officially ending in last night’s 4-1 defeat in Munich, Willian’s temporary contract extension has now ended as well. While his next move is not quite yet official, it won’t be with Chelsea (it will probably be with Arsenal).

And so, Willian leaves Stamford Bridge after seven years, five major trophies, a million little quick steps to the right, and 339 appearances — the 37th player in club history with 300+ appearances, and only the 8th from overseas (first from South America). He was a key player for every coach, of every tactical persuasion, up to the very end. He will be missed.

Thanks for all the good times, Willian Borges da Silva!

Chelsea FC v Norwich City - Premier League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play. Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

“Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning.

“I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club. There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!.

“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my teammates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!..My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you!

-Willian Borges da Silva

View this post on Instagram

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FANS OF CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB . . They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play. Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense. . . Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning. . . I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club. There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt! . . The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my teammates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt! . . My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you! . Willian Borges da Silva

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