On Wednesday, Chelsea finalized the transfer of midfielder Willian from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has signed a five-year contract with the Blues to wear the number 22 shirt.
Willian exemplifies Brazil’s signature style. With his footwork, agility and creativity, he is capable of deconstructing defenses with maddening ease, evidenced in his impressive performances against Chelsea in 2012.
In an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Chelsea representatives, Willian said coming to Chelsea is a dream come true. “Finally it’s become a reality, and when the offer came I never gave a thought to anybody else,” Willian said. “I said to myself that I would run here, and I’m happy to be here now. Chelsea was always my first choice.”
Willian, (whose full name is Willian Borges da Silva) began his professional career at esteemed club Sao Paulo, before moving to Brazilian club Corinthians at the age of nine. After impressing suitors tournament after tournament, Willian made a move to Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk in August 2007. During his time at Shakhtar, Willian won four league titles, three Ukrainian Super Cups and three Ukrainian Cups, cumulating to a UEFA Cup victory in 2009 over Weder Bremen.
He spent six years with Shakhtar before moving to Anzhi Makhachkala last January.
On the international stage, Willian began playing for the U20 Brazil national team in 2007 and was featured in the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and graduated to the senior squad in 2011. Willian said by moving to Chelsea, he hopes to gain better visibility, and a better chance at representing his country in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. With all of the titles that Willian earned during his tenure in the Ukraine, he comes to Chelsea with a winning mentality. With this hunger for hardware, he and Jose Mourinho are sure to get along nicely.