We caught up with former assistant coach Paul Clement in America last week, who since leaving Chelsea has worked in England and France before joining Real Madrid this summer.
Clement, who coached Chelsea’s Academy and reserve sides before stepping up to work with the first team in 2009 first under Guus Hiddink enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks at Stamford Bridge. He has continued that development since leaving the club in 2011, arriving at the Bernabeu following spells in Lancashire and Paris, after reuniting with Carlo Ancelotti.
‘I’m enjoying my time. It’s been a month in Madrid and things seem to have gone very quickly since I left Chelsea, having worked at Blackburn, then PSG and now Madrid,’ he said. ‘So much has happened but I am really enjoying my coaching at the moment and this new opportunity.
‘I’m forever grateful to Carlo and over the years we have become closer and understood each other better. It makes you think anything is possible in football. The future looks bright and I will continue to work hard. You never know what can happen.’
Despite never playing professionally, Clement has picked up league winners’ medals with Chelsea and Paris St Germain, and Real will be among the favourites for La Liga in Spain. It is a challenge Clement cannot wait for.
‘PSG was a nice experience on the field, working with some really good players, and winning the championship in another country was very rewarding, and great for my family, my kids learned a new language and we experienced a new culture, which we will do again now at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
‘Real Madrid is a fantastic club with great players, everything is in place and there are fantastic training facilities. The people are passionate and there is incredible support around the world so it’s a really exciting time.’
We were beaten 3-1 by Real in Miami, but after the game Clement was delighted to catch up with friends and former colleagues.
‘It’s really good to see the backroom staff, not just the technical staff but people from the medical department and the players I worked with,’ he said. ‘I have very fond memories of working with Chelsea and I’m still good friends with Neil Bath, Joe Edwards and Chris Jones, and it’s great to see JT again too, who is very supportive.’