“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,” Jorginho told UEFA.com.
“Everything that happened was thanks to the people that stood by me — family, friends, my agent, my teammates, coaches, physios, kitmen.”
Jorginho was such a scapegoat during Sarri’s rule that it seemed improbable just 18 months ago that he would stay at Chelsea long enough to make 150 games.
Supporters who were dissatisfied with the team’s performance under Sarri criticized him during his first season with the Blues.
Sarri paid £50 million ($68 million) to sign the Italy midfielder from Napoli, despite Manchester City’s strong interest.
In 2018, the duo got married on the same day at Stamford Bridge, however neither man had a honeymoon period in west London.
The manager’s possession-based strategy, known as ‘Sarri-ball,’ failed to adapt from Serie A to the Premier League’s more hectic environment.
Jorginho’s tendency of passing sideways or backwards to keep Chelsea in possession enraged Chelsea supporters, who demanded a more forward-thinking approach.
Sarri was disliked by both fans and many of his players, and he was fired at the end of his one season in command.
Jorginho helped Chelsea win the Europa League at the end of that season, but Lampard was never totally satisfied with the midfielder.
When Thomas Tuchel came over in January, his worth to Chelsea was still a source of heated discussion among fans and commentators.
Aside from his hop-step penalty-taking method, he frequently comes across as a reluctant star, content to keep the focus off the field by adopting a low-key approach on it.
Tuchel, on the other hand, had no concerns about Jorginho’s worth, seeing him as an excellent ‘number six’ capable of spearheading the transition from defence to attack thanks to his keen game reading, tactical awareness, and metronomic passing.
While working for Tuchel, Jorginho has risen in stature, making him crucial to Chelsea’s chances of retaining the Champions League and winning their first English crown since 2017.
This is Jorginho’s time in the spotlight as a player whose selfless approach allows others to shine.
“He’s a top guy. He’s in love with this game. He never stops transmitting this energy that he’s really into thinking about tactics and loves to be involved and feel a true connection with the game,” Tuchel said.
“That makes him a very important player and a huge link in the middle of the pitch, not only for us but also for Italy.”