FOR MOST, Imbituba’s sandy beaches and clear blue waters in southern Brazil offer a peaceful paradise – but for Chelsea’s new boy Jorginho they are the source of football education his.
Maurizio Sarri’s first signing at Stamford Bridge in 2018 may have been developed at Napoli, but the man who really molded the midfielder gave him life as well.
“My mother played football so I learned a lot from her,” Jorginho, who costs £ 58 million at Chelsea, said in 2013.
“She is still playing today and understands a lot of things. She will take me to the beach with a ball and I will spend the afternoon doing engineering work in the sand.
Jorginho’s mother Maria Tereza Freitas wants her son to be prepared for everything and everything in the game. She wanted him to be one step ahead of her disapproval.
“I’ve faced a lot of problems,” he said – and there were a lot of them on his way to the Premier League.
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But despite that preparation, Jorginho could not foresee his parents breaking up at the age of six. Since then, Maria was both a provider and a trainer.
She spends most of the day cleaning up the food on the table and earns enough money to buy her son shoes and a ball when he joins the local soccer team.
Jorginho represents Bruscão – currently looking to claim 0.9 percent of the money sold to Chelsea – but his education comes from his mother.
Their relationship was so strong that the memory of having been away from home 180 km since the age of 13 still pains him to this day.
Jorginho, 29, said: “If I talk about it, it feels like my throat is lodged.
Together with 50 other boys, the youngster was selected as part of a project set up by Italian entrepreneurs in Guabiruba to create the next wave of Brazilian excellence.
However, it is far from the modern facilities of the Chelsea academy at Cobham.
Jorginho recalled the cold ice baths. He cannot forget windowless digging sessions, as well as monotonous meals that rarely change.
But in the end it’s worth it.
After two years, he was one of the few chosen to join Verona, then playing in the second division of Italian football.
However, Jorginho’s first contract at the club was not lucrative. While the agent takes £ 27,000 from the deal, the emerging midfielder has only £ 18 a week to live on.
A large part of them still keep in touch with his mother.
“I can’t do anything,” he said. “I spent 5 euros on mobile credit, bought toiletries for 15 euros, the rest used online to talk to my family.
“It was like that for a year and a half.
“In my second year I trained with the professionals and when I met the Brazilian goalkeeper, Rafael Pinheiro, who was almost like a brother to me, I told my story and he didn’t believe it.
“From there, he didn’t let me miss anything.”
After a successful loan stint with Serie D’s Sambonifacese, Jorginho returned to Verona and played brilliantly, making his 18-year-old debut in September 2011.
He was a key figure on the team that won promotion in 2013 and was transferred to Napoli six months later.
During his time at Stadio San Paolo, Jorginho got to know Chelsea after parting ways with Nathaniel Chalobah, a former Blues midfielder on loan to Napoli in 2015.
“I saw him in training and he played one-touch and two-touch throughout training,” Chalobah told the podcast Golazzo: The Totally Italian Football Show earlier this year.
“I’ve never seen anything like that and I was staring at him thinking: ‘Oh my God, what a player!’ And no one knows about him. Now, when I see some complimenting comments about him, I know this is coming. “
However, Chalobah has a warning to anyone in Chelsea room with Jorginho: Jorginho is a video game fanatic.
“He was at Battlefield every night – it didn’t stop,” said the Watford midfielder.
“I had to try to take it off when I wanted to go to sleep. But to him it was just his pre-match ritual.
Jorginho has an ally of Sarri at Stamford Bridge, with whom he worked for three years at Napoli before being ordered to march.
The Italian coach knows his qualities well.
“Jorginho is not a physical player, he is a technical player,” Sarri said. “The most important quality is that he gets in touch very quickly.”
Sarri, Chelsea and Jorginho himself have his mother to thank for that. Imbituba beaches will always be a class for them.