Willian has revealed that he finds it “unbelievable” that he has managed to pull on the Chelsea shirt 300 times and has admitted it had always been his dream to play for the club.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the Brazil international was asked about his time at Stamford Bridge and could not believe that he would be joining some esteemed company with regards to the number of appearances he has made as a Blue.
“I have to be proud of that,” he said. “To achieve this number for this club is unbelievable. It was my dream to come to play for Chelsea. Always I wanted to play for this club.
“I had this affection with this club since they made an offer for me when I was at Shakhtar. I started watching the games and supporting this team. I loved the name, ‘Chelsea’. The colour blue. And then I had the chance to play at Stamford Bridge for Shakhtar.
“When I stop playing, my name will be there. No-one can cross it off. I feel proud of that.”
As mentioned by the club in their article, Willian becomes the eight foreign player to reach that milestone for Chelsea, joining the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Gianfranco Zola, Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel.
Indeed, it is a rather big achievement for the Brazilian, considering he had been subjected to plenty of criticism by his own fans on numerous occasions during his time at Stamford Bridge, whilst the likes of Barcelona are thought to have had bids turned down for him in the past.
However, perhaps, there is an under-appreciation for what Willian has done in SW6 as he may not always get the recognition that he has possibly deserved in recent campaigns. The 31-year-old has gone on to provide 54 goals and 54 assists in those appearances (per TransferMarkt) and help the Blues to win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and one Europa League.
The arrival of Frank Lampard as manager appears to have given the South American a fresh lease of life, with the manager openly praising his attacker following their 4-1 victory against Southampton just prior to the current international break.
Willian looks to be a rejuvenated figure under the new management regime and appears to be playing at the top of his game once again – which will be pleasing considering Hazard no longer remains in west London.
The 31-year-old seems to be saying all the right things amid discussions about a new contract, however, perhaps the experienced Brazil international should not have found the idea of playing 300 times for the Blues all that ‘unbelievable’ given his obvious quality.
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