The midfielder speaks about his incredible season after being named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year.
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Jorginho has been named as the UEFA Men's Player of the Year after a stellar season in which he won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea and UEFA EURO 2020 with Italy.
The multitalented midfielder spoke to UEFA.com about the honour of scooping the award and his achievements over the past 12 months for club and country.Does Jorginho make your Fantasy team?
How does it feel to be named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year?
That's a huge thing, isn't it? Wow! I'm lost for words. It's unbelievable, really. I have to say how grateful I am. Not only for my family and friends – none of this would be happening were it not for all the people around me – but for my team-mates at both club and country, coaches, fans. All those who didn't believe in me, who criticised me, I have to thank them too. They gave me even more encouragement. They motivated me to work harder and harder to prove they were wrong.
Everything that happened was thanks to the people that stood by me – family, friends, my agent, my team-mates, coaches, physios, kitmen – all the people who are part of it and often go unmentioned. They do a great job backstage, so that we can be prepared for the game. So everything happened thanks to all of these people, and not only thanks to myself or these legs or my head. It's a whole set of things – football is a team effort.
What does winning the UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO 2020 mean to you?
It's just really surreal for me based on where I've come from, my background. I come from a small town, Imbituba – I'm not sure you've heard the name before. I've achieved so much with trophies and awards. It's really surreal when I speak to my family and friends and we always use the word "surreal" because it's hard to imagine and believe everything that has been happening. That is why I say I'm really living the dream and I feel really fulfilled and happy.
What do both of those trophies mean to you? Did each of them feel different?
They did. There are two different emotions because, in one case, you've been working daily, all through the year, towards that goal and you stand for your club's colours – multiple nationalities, multiple cultures playing for one club. And it's amazing. It's the top achievement for a club, right? I can't believe I've won this, especially against Manchester City. The other trophy mobilises your country, your people, and that is powerful too. I saw Italians and got videos from all over the world.
Apart from the final, what was the most remarkable moment or match for you during UEFA EURO 2020?
There were many moments – the entire EURO was so special – but I have to say, apart from the final of course, the games against Belgium and Spain. The Belgium tie was [against] the top-ranked team, with everyone repeating that Italy had been undefeated for 30 matches or so only because they hadn't faced strong opponents. We'd been hearing all that and were just listening. We'd say to each other: "Let them talk. Let them talk." And then we take on the top team in the world and we got a much-deserved win. That was a very good feeling and quite a gratifying moment.
The game against Spain was different because we suffered. Honestly, I can humbly say that they were the only team where, had they beaten us, there would have been nothing we could say about it because they did control the game, they created chances, they made us suffer, they made us struggle. This was the only game where I looked at the time, and time simply wouldn't pass. "Come on, just end it already! When is this coming to an end?"
And then, also, the penalty against Spain. That was a special moment for me – scoring the fifth penalty kick. Those two games, as well as the final, were quite remarkable.Download the Champions League app