Monday, December 5, 2022

Chelsea star makes Ballon d’Or admission after Euro 2020 displays.

Chelsea star makes Ballon d’Or admission after Euro 2020 displays.

Chelsea star Jorginho maintains he doesn’t think about winning the Ballon d’Or notwithstanding lifting the Champions League with Chelsea and starring for Italy at this summer’s European Championships.

At the turn of the year, the 29-year-old’s fate at Stamford Bridge was unsure. Jorginho wasn’t a secured starter under Frank Lampard, who preferred a 4-3-3 system with N’Golo Kante as the deepest of the three midfielders.

The arrival of Thomas Tuchel immediately transformed the Italian’s campaign, however. Jorginho went from the substitutes’ bench to the starting XI and proved himself as a key figure in the German’s 3-4-2-1 formation.

Where he really stood out was the Champions League. Throughout the knockout rounds, Jorginho performed composed and resolute performances alongside the tireless Kante and Mateo Kovacic.

“Jorgi is a bit more the strategic guy who helps us in the build-up and he makes good decisions and helps us to escape the pressure,” Tuchel said in April after the former Napoli midfielder had glowed against Porto.

There’s little uncertainty that Jorginho produced the best football of his career for Chelsea during the second half of last season. Even his critics, of which there remain numerous, admitted he played a pivotal role in helping the Blues finish in the top four and winning the Champions League in Porto last month.

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He has taken his fine form into the European Championships with Italy, who have entered the quarter-finals of the competition with relative ease having finished top of their group with nine points and defeating a stubborn Austria side in additional time at Wembley.

There is the genuine hope that Jorginho ends the summer as a European champion at both club and international level. And that progress would certainly put him in the conversation for the 2021 Ballon d’Or, the award given to the standout player of the year.

Yet Jorginho – who has just two years remaining on his Chelsea deal – says he is not moved by the potential of individual honor. Instead, he is centered on celebrating any achievement with his teammates.

“I don’t think about it,” he said during a press conference at Italy’s training base, Coverciano. “Everything that is happening is the consequence of hard work.

“My priority is the group and celebrating together with my teammates and friends. This is more beautiful than celebrating alone.”

While Jorginho was keen to play down his prospects of clinching the Ballon d’Or – which has been controlled by both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the last 15 years – his Italian teammate, Lorenzo Insigne, wasn’t as modest.

“He has spent some fantastic years at Chelsea and I am proud to have him in our team,” the Napoli winger explained after Italy’s win over Wales at Euro 2020.

“I’m not the one deciding if he deserves the Ballon d’Or, but I hope he’ll be shortlisted, he deserves so, he is a great player.

“I call him the professor and we are all happy to play with him.”

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Chelsea star makes Ballon d’Or admission after Euro 2020 displays.

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