Italy and Chelsea star Jorginho reveals the turning point of his career and praises Roberto Mancini: ‘A complete coach.’
The former Napoli and Hellas Verona man spoke about his career in an interview with The Telegraph.
He revealed he had faced tough times under Andrea Mandorlini at Verona as the Italian tactician was not giving him regular playing time in Serie B.
“Mandorlini played me in all positions during pre-season: right-back, centre-back, everywhere. I was hoping to get some minutes, but then the season started and I didn’t even make the bench,” the 29-year-old said.
“I didn’t play again for a month, so I called my agent Joao [Santos] and told him, ‘I’m leaving in January!’ I had also received a call from the coach I worked with at Sambonifacese, Claudio Valigi. He had signed for Mantova in the fourth division and told me: ‘Jorge, I know you’re in Serie B with Verona, but if you want to play, we need you here.’ I answered him that I would think about it, but as soon as I hung up, I actually called Joao, ‘Listen, I’m going to Mantova.’ He asked me to calm down.”
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“And then, two or three weeks later, in a match versus Bari, one of our players got injured in the first half and Mandorlini looked at me on the bench and seemed desperate, ‘My God, what do I do?’ In the end, he put me in and we won 1-0 away. The following week, I started against Empoli and scored a goal and gave an assist. I was man of the match. Everything changed after that. It was the turning point for me.”
Jorginho eventually joined Napoli and Chelsea where he played under Maurizio Sarri who has just been appointed Lazio coach.
“I worked with Sarri at Chelsea and Napoli and have great affection for him,” Jorginho said.
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“I don’t need to bury this story. It’s who created it that has to do it. The focus of my daily work is not on this. I will always give my best to the club I play for to keep improving my game – anything other than that is only a distraction from what is most important.”
Jorginho is one of Italy’s stars at Euro 2020 which begins tomorrow in Rome with the Azzurri hosting Turkey. The Chelsea playmaker has found another reliable coach in Roberto Mancini.
“He is the complete coach – man-management, tactical and technical knowledge, reading of situations, just everything,” he claimed.
“In the end, you need to trust yourself and have it clear where you aim to get to. Have I had bad days? Of course. We all have. I have never doubted myself, though, because I knew how hard I worked. Obviously, I’m being praised for my performances and the Champions League title. But I run around 12 kilometers per game and haven’t started doing that now. I give 100 per cent effort every day,” he concluded.