Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has opened up about how his former agent used to short-change him during his formative years in Italy.
The Brazilian-born midfield maestro relocated to the country of his great, great grandfather to play for Verona at the age of 15.
Jorginho in Italy: Five key things to know…
- Whilst playing in a tournament in Brazil, Jorginho was scouted by an agent who took him to Italy.
- The 27-year-old signed for Verona, but initially played for local youth team Berretti.
- Jorginho was given just €20 a week to live before discovering he had been swindled.
- Upon finding out, the Chelsea midfielder wanted to quit football, but persevered and soon flourished on Italian soil.
- He secured a £50m move to the Blues last summer, completed the most successful passes in the PL for 2018/19 (2782) and won the Europa League.
Upon joining the Mastiffs, Jorginho was fulfilling a childhood dream, but that fantasy would soon become a nightmare once he discovered his agent was financially exploiting him.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, he said: “I was playing in a tournament in Brazil and an agent scouted me. He took me to his soccer school. The idea was he used it to scout players and anyone he thought was good enough he took over to Italy.
“That’s what he did with me when I was 15. He set me up with a trial at Verona in their youth section and they took me on. Initially when I moved over to Italy it was really easy because I was living my dream. Everything was brand new.
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“Then I began to get into the routine: training, school, home, home, school, training. That’s all I did for 18 months. I had 20 euros to live on a week and I couldn’t do anything else, because you can’t with that amount of money. All I did was literally train and go to school. That was really tough.”
It was at this point that Jorginho befriended a native Brazilian youth player and the pair started to discuss life in Europe, before realising something was amiss with the Chelsea man’s wage package.
He added: “Because Verona weren’t in Serie A at that time, they didn’t have a youth team so I played in a local youth team called Berretti. Whilst I was playing for Berretti, I met a fellow Brazilian and I got friendly with him.
“He was asking me about what I was doing, how long I had been there for, and I told him I was living on 20 euros a week. He said ‘hang on a minute, there’s something not quite right about that’.
“He made some enquiries and it turned out my agent had been taking money and I knew nothing about it whatsoever. At that point I wanted to give up. I was completely devastated. I was fed up.
“I phoned home in tears and told my mum I wanted to come home and I didn’t want to play football any more. She said: ‘Don’t even think about it! You’re so close, you’ve been there for a few years, I won’t let you back in the house! You need to stay there and hang tough.”