'I phoned home in tears' – Jorginho reveals he almost quit after being ripped off by agent

Comments()
Getty
The Brazil-born Italy international admitted that he nearly gave up on his dreams due to being financially exploited

Chelsea's Jorginho has revealed that he 'didn't want to play football any more' during his youth days after finding out that his agent had been secretly stealing money from him as he handed the young midfielder just €20 per week to live.

Jorginho's footballing story began in the coastal Brazilian town of Imbituba, often playing with children older than him due to his natural ability on the ball, before moving to Italy to play for Verona at the age of 15.

The Europa League winner admits that moving to the country of his great, great grandfather was a dream come true, but that dream would become a nightmare after finding out that he was being financially exploited.

“I was playing in a tournament in Brazil and an agent scouted me,” Jorginho told Chelsea's official website . “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. 

“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.

“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."

Jorginho Chelsea 2018-19

A clear favourite of Maurizio Sarri heeded his mother's words and would go on to seal a £50 million ($64m) move to Chelsea in 2018 . Again, however, it was far from plain sailing, with a young Jorginho finding it difficult to convince his coaches that he deserved to start. 

He added: “So I stayed and continued to train with the first team. I could have continued playing for Berretti, but at that point I decided I would go on loan. I went to a professional team in Serie C2 called Sambonifacese.

Article continues below

“While I was there, Verona got promoted to Serie B. When I went back, the coach, Andrea Mandorlini, said he didn’t need me because I had only played in C2 and now they were in B. But one of the directors who I knew quite well stuck up for me, and argued my case with the coach.

“By the October I hadn’t played a single game and had thought about the possibility of leaving in January. Then the first team player who had my position got injured, and his natural replacement was injured as well. The coach didn’t know what to do. He had to either improvise or play me.

“He played me and I did pretty well!”

Close