Willian is the club’s latest acquisition after today completing his move to Stamford Bridge from Anzhi Makhachkala.
Shortly after putting pen to paper, the Brazilian, who will wear the number 22 shirt, sat down with the official Chelsea website at our Cobham training ground and expressed his delight at sealing the move, as well as outlining his hopes and expectations for the season ahead…
What does it feel like to be a Chelsea player?
I’ve always been following Chelsea and every time I came to London I would try to see a Chelsea game and see how the team was doing because it’s been my dream to come to play here. Finally it’s become a reality, and when the offer came I never gave a thought to anybody else, I said to myself that I would run here, and I’m happy to be here now. Chelsea was always my first choice.
You must be looking forward to working under one of the best managers in the game?
Absolutely, it’s going to be an immense pleasure to work with Jose Mourinho, listen to him and learn from him. I’m sure I’m going to grow as a professional and I’m looking forward to training. He’s one of the best coaches in the world with everything he’s won. I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot and improve a lot.
Have you had a chance to speak to Jose Mourinho about what is expected of you?
I’ve had a quick chat with him, he welcomed me to the club and told me he was happy that I was here. He told me to work hard. He said we have a very strong team but when you work hard there are rewards.
You have played in Russia, Ukraine and Brazil, but how familiar are you with the Premier League?
I’ve always followed the Premier League on the television and I’ve always had a desire to play in England because it’s one of the best leagues in the world. I’ve seen some games live and I’ve been to the stadiums. It’s a different league but I’m really looking forward to getting started.
Chelsea fans will remember you for the two goals you scored at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League last season, but how would you describe your style of play?
My style is that I like to dribble a lot and play with speed. I like to accelerate very fast with the ball. I’m also quite technical, I like to shoot at goal but I’ve also learnt to defend, which is something you have to do to help the team.
You have an impressive record in the Champions League, scoring nine goals in 34 appearances. What is your favourite memory from playing in the competition?
The most beautiful goal I scored in the Champions League was for Shakhtar against Roma in a 3-0 win in 2011. I’ve scored memorable goals in other competitions as well but in the Champions League I would choose that one.
As well as Chelsea, you’ve also played against Arsenal, Tottenham, Fulham and Newcastle in the past. How do you remember your matches against English opposition?
It was a great experience because English teams are very difficult to play against and each one has their own qualities. I remember losing against Fulham with Shakhtar, and we also lost 3-2 to Chelsea last season, but they were good experiences and I enjoyed the games.
At Shakhtar you won a number of trophies, including the Ukrainian title, Ukrainian Cup and UEFA Cup. How do you think that winning mentality will help you at a club which have become accustomed to success?
It will help me because every player has a wish to win everything they are competing for. I’ve won a lot of trophies in Ukraine, which is a wonderful feeling, but Chelsea are a great club who are used to winning trophies. My aim is to help Chelsea keep this winning mentality and to win as many trophies as we can. All we want is to win trophies and be successful.
What are your aims for the season, both on an individual and collective level?
I intend to help the team as much as I can in order to be successful. I want to train hard, work hard and give everything to earn my place in the side. This is a very strong team with great players. I hope I am going to start matches very strongly and help the team do the best we can, whether that’s through scoring goals, creating chances or defending. I’m sure with the squad we have we will have a great season ahead of us with many trophies to come.
With the World Cup in your home country to come at the end of the season, are you hoping your performances for Chelsea can help you earn a place in the Brazil squad?
That is definitely another aim of mine, to win my place in the squad and go to the World Cup. I will have to work hard for Chelsea to show what I am capable of, and I’m sure if I do that I will have the opportunity to be called up by the national team as a consequence. That applies to every player; if you work hard and perform well for your club, you will get those opportunities, and if the chance arrives I want to be ready to take it with both hands.
– Watch Chelsea TV’s ‘Blues News’ this evening for more exclusive interview with Willian.