The latest edition of Chelsea, with Samuel Eto’o and Willian gracing the front cover, features exclusive interviews with the club’s most recent acquisitions.
As well as hearing from our newest recruits, the official club magazine, now available in digital format, also speaks to Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
At club level, Eto’o has achieved the type of success most players can only dream about over the course of his career.
He tells Chelsea his inspiration to become the very best, however, stems from watching international football and, in particular, his home nation of Cameroon in action at the 1990 World Cup.
‘I remember the game against England very well,’ he says. ‘Obviously, I really wanted Cameroon to win that match and to win that World Cup.
‘The team gave everything they could in that tournament and, in fact, they achieved the best result of any African nation in a World Cup by getting to the quarter-finals.
‘Of course I was inspired. It was my dream to become a professional footballer and to enter this environment that I had seen on television. I remember, after the match, becoming very proud all of a sudden of where my parents were from – where I was from – and it then became a dream for me to follow in the footsteps of these great players.’
So far, the 32-year-old has enjoyed spells in Spain, Italy and Russia, but when the opportunity arose to move to the Premier League – and Chelsea in particular – he had no reservations.
‘It wasn’t a hard decision to come here,’ Eto’o explains. ‘I saw the qualities Chelsea have and I was very happy with José Mourinho before. So, when the opportunity came, I was very happy to take it.
‘I’m settling in well – my team-mates are helping me a lot and also the coaches, so I feel that I am settling into the team.
‘It hasn’t been too much time yet, so I need to continue working to make sure I keep improving my level. Every game here is important and I realise that – I have come here to enjoy playing for Chelsea and to enjoy the football. I go into every game with the same approach.’
Willian, meanwhile, rose to prominence during a six-year spell with Shakhtar Donetsk, where he played a pivotal role as they won the UEFA Cup, four league titles and three domestic cups during his time at the club.
The period he spent in Ukraine was undoubtedly the most important time in his football career thus far, but it was away from the field of play, as he explains, where the most significant transition took place.
‘That was a very good experience for me,’ he says. ‘Of course, at the beginning it was very difficult because, as you can imagine, I was only 19 and I was leaving by myself to live in a foreign country – and not only a foreign country, but a totally different place in terms of culture, where the weather was always very cold. However, I think it was a great experience, because it helped me to become the man that I am today.
‘Now, at the age of 25, I have already taken on a lot of responsibilities in my life – I’m a married father of two girls and this time in Donetsk helped me to gain life experience as well as understand a different culture. It was very daunting to move there, but I don’t have any regrets – I had lots of joy in my six years over there and now I hope to develop further with Chelsea.
‘It was important in Donetsk that there were a few Brazilians when I arrived who could help me to adapt and to get on with doing my job, basically, and that is the case here as well. We have the Brazilian players and also the manager, who speaks my language, which helps a lot.’
The manager responds
Elsewhere in the magazine, Jose Mourinho answers supporters’ questions in ‘Ask Jose’, with subjects raised including the importance of loans, the benefits of statistics and his biggest challenges as a boss.
Iconic Hasselbaink reflects
Introduced for this season, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the latest player to be interviewed for the ‘Chelsea Icon’ feature. The former Stamford Bridge favourite is currently manager of Belgian side Antwerp, and he looks back over a career with the Blues in which he scored 87 goals for the club, while also paying tribute to the player he describes as his greatest ever strike partner.
Boxer Barker on love of Blues
Darren Barker has made no secret of his passion for Chelsea, even taking to the ring with the club badge stitched into his shorts, and in this month’s ‘One of Us’, the IBF world middleweight champion outlines his hopes for the club this season, reflects on his most memorable moment as a Chelsea fan and expresses his delight at the return to the club of Mourinho.
Mata’s memorable matches
Since moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2011, it’s fair to say Juan Mata has made his mark on more than just the odd game, and in the latest edition of Chelsea, our number 10 picks out eight matches which have helped shape his career, including his debut for the Blues, our two European triumphs and a crucial match for Spain Under-19s in which he netted a hat-trick.
And there’s much more…
As well as of this, the new edition of the magazine looks back on a promotion-winning reunion for the class of 1962/63, assesses the early-season impact of Oscar and features an exclusive interview with Academy right-back Ola Aina.
The November edition of Chelsea is available now from all good newsagents and the Stamford Bridge Megastore, priced £3.25.
Individual digital issues of Chelsea are available for just £2.99, and you can click on the relevant link below to buy yours now.
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