Our men’s team completed the third signing of the January transfer window on deadline day, when Jorginho switched west London for north London.
An experienced international boasting a host of major collective and individual honours, the 31-year-old has been on some journey since his childhood - and has proved himself at every juncture:
Beginnings in Brazil
Jorginho - whose full name is Jorge Luiz Frello Filho - was born on December 20, 1991 in Imbituba, a coastal town in Santa Catarina, one of Brazil’s most southernly states.
Hailing from a football-mad family, Jorginho harboured dreams of one day playing the sport professionally and sharpened his skills with his mother, who in the midfielder’s own words, “was the one getting me to practise”. After impressing at a football camp, he took the first step to realise his aim when signing for Hellas Verona at the age of 15.
From Imbituba to Italy
Having made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean on his own, Jorginho initially lived with a host of teammates. He progressed through the youth ranks and found himself training with Verona’s first-team squad while still only 17, before making his senior debut on loan at Serie C2 side Sambonifacese in 2010/11.
Playing in his favoured central-midfield position, Jorginho impressed and scored his first career goal in a win at Casale. He made 31 league appearances over the course of the campaign, helping Sambonifacese to finish 12th - and his encouraging displays saw Verona integrate him into the senior squad.
He made his debut for the club in early September 2011, as a late substitute in a 1-0 win over Sassuolo. While first-team opportunities were initially irregular, Jorginho eventually broke into the starting XI and featured in 26 consecutive Serie B matches as Verona secured a play-off place. They lost in the semi-final to Varese, but regrouped and secured promotion to Serie A the following season, with Jorginho featuring in 41 of 42 league matches.
Verona marked their return to the top tier in emphatic fashion - with a 2-1 home win over AC Milan. The team were catching the eye - and so was Jorginho. He scored seven times in the first half of the season, five of those from the penalty spot, with his performances attracting attention from across Italy. In January 2014, his time at Verona was up.
New start in Naples
Jorginho signed for Napoli on a co-ownership deal in January 2014 and quickly became an important part of the team. After helping Gli Azzurri to finish third in Serie A, he ended his first half season in style by playing the full 90 minutes of a 3-1 Italian Cup final win over Fiorentina.
Another trophy followed at the end of the calendar year, courtesy of a penalty shootout victory against Juventus in the Italian Super Cup. Jorginho continued to feature regularly for Napoli - and the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as manager in June 2015 would prove vital to his future success.
Under the guidance of their new boss, Napoli finished the 2015/16 season as runners-up in Serie A, with Jorginho flourishing. His displays caught the eye of Antonio Conte, who rewarded the then 24-year-old with a first senior Italy cap.
Jorginho, who qualified to play for Italy through his paternal great-grandfather, made his international debut in a 1-1 draw against Spain in March 2016. A second appearance for the Azzurri followed two months later, in a friendly win over Scotland.
Jorginho continued to star under the guidance of Sarri and was a key component of the Napoli side that finished third in 2017 and second a season later. Both were gaining suitors from all over Europe - and they would move to England in the summer of 2018.
Jorginho was unveiled as a Chelsea player on the same day Sarri became their new head coach. He marked his Premier League debut by scoring against Huddersfield Town and immediately established himself as an ever-present in midfield.
He helped Chelsea reach the final of the EFL Cup, scoring in a semi-final shootout win against Tottenham Hotspur and, though they would lose the final against Manchester City, Jorginho ended the season with a trophy after Sarri’s side won the Europa League - earning a place in that competition’s Squad of the Season.
Chelsea came close to winning more silverware the following season, but we denied him an FA Cup winners' medal despite him starting the final at Wembley.
The golden year
Having suffered more final heartache when finishing as runners-up in the League Cup, 2021 would eventually prove to be unforgettable for Jorginho - for all the right reasons.
A near ever-present in the Champions League, he contributed significantly to Chelsea knocking out Atletico Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid en route to setting up an all-Premier League final against Manchester City. A tight match, in which Jorginho once again impressed, was ultimately settled by Kai Havertz’s 42nd-minute goal.
Another winner’s medal followed soon after. Now an indispensable member of the Italy squad, Jorginho started every match as Roberto Mancini’s side won Euro 2020 - scoring the decisive penalty in a semi-final shootout win against Spain.
Then came a series of personal accolades. Having already been named in the Champions League Squad of the Season, Jorginho was also included in the European Championship Team of the Tournament and named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2020/21.
Jorginho lifted another trophy in his first game back at Chelsea following the Euros - the UEFA Super Cup, in which he scored in the penalty shootout - and he would finish 2021 finishing third in the Ballon d’Or rankings and as a FIFA Club World Cup winner.
An eye for goal
A regular penalty taker, Jorginho would score nine times in all competitions during 2021/22 - the most prolific campaign of his career. All of those came from the spot, as have his three goals this term.
He finished last season with two runners-up medals - Chelsea reaching both the League Cup and FA Cup finals but losing both against Liverpool.
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