Jorginho reveals he was REJECTED by Palmeiras at the age of 12 in a ‘crazy coincidence’ as Chelsea prepare to take on the Brazilian club in the FIFA Club World Cup final
- Chelsea play Palmeiras in Saturday’s FIFA Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi
- Midfielder Jorginho has revealed he had trials with the Brazilian club aged 12
- But Palmeiras turned him down and he would move to Italy three years later
- Jorginho said he’d stressed to his team-mates how much Palmeiras want to win
Jorginho has revealed he was once rejected by Palmeiras as the Chelsea midfielder prepares to face the Brazilian club in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
The Italy international, 30, was born in Brazil and lived there until the age of 15. Jorginho revealed on the eve of the final in Abu Dhabi that he had unsuccessful trials with the Sao Paulo club when he was 12.
‘I’ve never played professionally in Brazil, and I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I tried to play for Palmeiras when I was a 12-year-old boy, but they didn’t take me,’ Jorginho said.
Chelsea’s Jorginho has revealed that Palmeiras rejected him following a trial there aged 12
Jorginho and Chelsea now take on Palmeiras in the FIFA Club World Cup final on Saturday
‘That’s the only memory I have of Palmeiras and it’s really strange that 18 years later I find myself playing against them in a Club World Cup final.
‘I think it’s a crazy coincidence, but that’s what football is.
‘Everything sometimes has to happen for a reason, so maybe it was for the best. I talked to my team-mates and tried to explain how important it is for Brazilian to win a trophy.’
He added: ‘It’s certainly a great incentive for us and we will try to win the title.’
Jorginho moved to Italy as a teenager and progressed through the academy at Hellas Verona before going on to play for Napoli and then Chelsea.
The South American champions beat Al-Ahly of Egypt 2-0 in the semi-final to advance
Romelu Lukaku scored Chelsea’s winner as they overcame Saudi team Al-Hilal on Wednesday
Palmeiras have won the Copa Libertadores – the South American equivalent of the Champions League – on three occasions, including the last two years.
But they have never won the FIFA Club World Cup or its forerunner, the Intercontinental Cup. In 1999, Palmeiras were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United in the Intercontinental Cup in Japan.
In last year’s Club World Cup, the Brazilian team surprisingly lost 1-0 to Mexicans UANL Tigres in the semi-final with Bayern Munich going on to win the trophy.
Jorginho pictured in training in Abu Dhabi ahead of Chelsea’s final on Saturday evening
This time around, Palmeiras made no mistake with a 2-0 semi-final win over Egyptian club Al Ahly in the semi-final and now take on European champions Chelsea for the prize on Saturday.
Chelsea were unconvincing in their 1-0 semi-final win over Saudi opponents Al-Hilal, with Romelu Lukaku scoring their winner.
Manager Thomas Tuchel was reunited with the Chelsea squad on Friday night in time for the final having missed the semi-final following a positive Covid test.