Chelsea midfielder Jorginho reveals why he almost quit football as a youngster

Nick Purewal 19:27 15/06/2019
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Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho.

Jorginho has claimed he almost quit football as a youngster after discovering he was being short-changed.

The Italy midfielder was the main recruit in Maurizio Sarri’s short-lived Chelsea tenure, the £57million signing often a lightning rod for fan criticism in his first Stamford Bridge campaign.

Jorginho formed the bedrock of Chelsea’s third-place finish and Europa League triumph however, in what ultimately proved a profitable first campaign in west London.

The Brazil-born 27-year-old might never have represented either Italy or Chelsea however, had he given up when living on just 20 Euros a week after alleging an agent was keeping a percentage of his pay.

“Because Verona weren’t in Serie A at that time, they didn’t have a youth team so I played in a local youth team called Berretti,” Jorginho explained, of his move from Brazil to Europe aged just 15, in an interview on Chelsea’s official website.

“They played in Serie C1/C2. I did that for two years. Whilst I was playing for Berretti, I met a fellow Brazilian called Rafael who was a goalkeeper.

Jorginho divided opinions in his first season with Chelsea.

Jorginho divided opinions in his first season with Chelsea.

“I got friendly with him. He was asking me about what I was doing, how long I had been there for, and I told him I was living on 20 Euros a week.

“He said ‘hang on a minute, there’s something not quite right about that’.

“He made some enquiries and it turned out my agent had been taking money and I knew nothing about it whatsoever.”

On discovering the situation, Jorginho admitted he very nearly quit football entirely – only to be talked round by his mother.

“At that point I wanted to give up. I was completely devastated. I was fed up,” Jorginho added.

“I phoned home in tears and told my mum I wanted to come home and I didn’t want to play football any more.

“She said: ‘Don’t even think about it! You’re so close, you’ve been there for a few years, I won’t let you back in the house! You need to stay there and hang tough.’

“So I stayed. I continued to train with the first team.”

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