Jorginho may be a familiar name to our supporters thanks to his achievements in the Premier League and on the international stage, but how much do you know about our new recruit?
The Italian midfielder joined West London for N5 on deadline day after leaving Chelsea to add a wealth of experience to Mikel Arteta’s team, enjoying a trophy-laden career to date.
Just like that number 20 shirt he took at the Emirates Stadium, here are 20 things you may not have known about our latest acquisition;
An Italian city
Jorginho was born in Brazil, in the small town of Imbituba in the southern region. Italian race through great-grandfather, Lusiana, Veneto. Reflecting on his decision, he said: “Choosing Italy was easy. Brazil never gave me the chance to fulfill my dream. Italy chose I want to play for them, even though I was born in another country. When I needed help, Italy helped me.”
At five years old, our new signature already had his eyes on his future life. When asked by his father what he wanted to do when he grew up, Jorginho replied: “I want to be a football player.” As his father was reluctant to see him lose his family and the potential for serious injury, he asked again what was going to happen. The answer was again: “I want to be a player.”
Jorginho attributes his success mainly to one person – his mother, an avid sportswoman herself, who came from a football family. “She was the one who trained me,” he previously said. “My mum grabbed one of the balls and said to me: ‘Come on! Let’s do it now. Let’s go. Right, right, left, left. I’d kick the ball and he’d be like, ‘Yeah, check this one.’ And so he went for a long time on the beach.
The first sacrifices
As a teenager, Jorginho took his first steps in 11-a-side football and was quickly scouted in Brazil. However, he wants to move 120 miles from his family where he was born at 13 to join the football school of Guabiruba which specializes in training those who have made the move to Italy. two years later, Jorginho impressed and continued to Verona.
What is the name?
Jorge Luiz Frello Filho is now better known as Jorginho, but his childhood friends called him Haginho, after his idol, the legendary Romanian novelist Gheorghe Hagi. His nickname among the Italian national team is “Il Professore” or “Radio Jorginho”, in reference to his leadership and organizational qualities, as well as his continuous communication in sports.
Under the radar
Jorginho underwent trials with three of Brazil’s biggest clubs – Sao Paulo, Palmeiras and Internacional but failed to return from all of them. “I came back wanting to still be a player, even though it was going to be tough,” he said. “He gave me a reason not to give up, to believe in myself. My family believed in me, my friends believed in my potential, everyone believed in me.
Then he looked up to Hagi, even Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka, but at the time he was convinced in Guabiruba to nurture any dreams of following his footsteps and go further, and turned into the holding midfield that we know today. After this he studied Andreas Pirlo and Xavi to help the position of the coach.
Do not fail
When he first moved to Italy, he was given 20 European coins to live on through his agent, who later discovered that Jorginho was throwing away some of his money. Which he almost did to leave the new world, but his mother urged him to go on, saying: “Don’t even think! You are so close, you have been there for a few years, I will not let you in the house! You have to hang in there and hang tough.”
When the first team began to break into Verona, Jorginho met goalkeeper Rafael Pinheiro, who was also born in Brazil, and the pair quickly formed a bond. It was Pinheiro who discovered that Jorginho had been short-changed by his agent, and took him under his wing to provide him with food and clothing. Rafael retired last season when he was a teammate of Jakub Kiwior in Spedia.
While he learned his art in Verona, he lived as a young man in a monastery. ‘There was a place for the monks, another for the scholars in the academy,’ he said. “Six of us in a cell for one and a half years. The people there always treated me with respect in a wonderful way. They really took care of us and the food was amazing. We had it in the house for 11 hours.
a man of Verona
The first major highlight of his career came when he helped Verona reach Serie A for the first time in 11 years in 2014. He then assisted in the top four division netting seven goals in 18 games before Rafael Benitez signed him to Napoli. in the January transfer window. In fact, owner Maurice Setti since he revealed the club in 2012 in 2012 after realizing Jorginho’s talent.
Happy with Sarri
No coach has chosen Jorginho more times in his career than the 162 times Maurizio Sarri has, who helped him develop into a star in Serie A during his time at Napoli. On the day Sarri was appointed manager of Chelsea in the summer of 2018, Jorginho also signed for the club to remain in England for two leagues.
Punishment with precision
Jorginho has been keen on spot-kicks throughout his career, and has netted 41 of 48, with 19 of 22 attempts coming in the Premier League – no player has taken more in the division that season. He finished top of the league for the Blues’ 2019/20 season with seven goals – all from the spot – when he admitted to an unusual technique he picked up during Napoli’s training sessions.
A touch of class
In just the third game in the division, Jorginho equaled the Premier League record in August 2018 when he touched the ball 186 times in a game against Newcastle United, and four weeks later surpassed it by recording 191 against West Ham United. While that record is currently held by Rodri of Manchester City (195 v West Ham in February 2020), our new signing appears three times in the top seven of that particular list.
After clinching Euro 2020, Jorginho joined the elite list of players and won the European Cup/Champions League and the European Championships in the same year. Luis Suarez was the first in 1964 to play between Milan and Spain, while in 1988 Hans van Breukelen, Ronald Koeman, Berry van Aerle and Gerald Vanenburg did the double with PSV Eindhoven and Belgium.
In recent seasons, Chelsea duo Fernando Torres and Juan Mata repeated the feat with Spain, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe were the last act when Real Madrid and Portugal tasted glory.
A year to remember
After winning both the Champions League and Euro 2020 in the 2020/21 campaign, Jorginho was awarded the UEFA Player of the Year. After joining the votes from the national coaches, managers involved in the European competitions and the judges, the Italian international wingers Kevin de Bruyne and N’Golo Kante collected the prestigious awards.
Going into the Gunners
The Italian netted twice against us for the Blues, at home and away during the 2019/20 campaign. He hit home late in a 2-1 success for Chelsea at the Emirates in December 2019, before scoring from 12 yards in a 2-2 draw, returning to Stamford Bridge the following month.
This was one of just four triumphs at our expense in 10 appearances with the Blues, including the 2018/19 European League final in Baku, losing the FA Cup final 12 months later.
Top of the list
No Italian midfielder has scored more goals in the Premier League than Jorginho with 21 strikes. His closest rival is Roberto di Matteo who got 15 for Chelsea, while only strikers Paulo di Canio, Gianfranco Zola, Benito Carbone, Fabricio Ravanelli and Graziano Pelle scored more than his runner-up.
A history maker
In September 2021, he gave Italy his first opportunity for his 38th cap in a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, in a game that brought Jorginho’s side to a 5-0 win. It was the first time the Azzurri had seen a non-native Italian since 1960, when Argentine-born Miguel Angel Montuori took the armband.
Jorginho will be just the third Italian to feature for us in competitive action. Arturo Lupoli was the first, scoring three goals in nine appearances between 2004 and 2006, while goalkeeper Vito Mannone played 23 times between 2009 and 2012.
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