Wonderful Willian in new mag

The new issue of Chelsea is on sale now and features an exclusive interview with cover star Willian who discusses his excellent form and love of pleasing the fans.

In true Brazilian style, our number 22 has always played the beautiful game with a smile on his face, and he has plenty to be happy about given his brilliant recent run, which has seen him find the back of the net five times in as many games.

That has been achieved with his usual panache, and he reveals it is all part of his personal footballing philosophy.

'I think you have to enjoy yourself on the pitch,’ he tells the magazine. ‘To play football, you have to be happy. I have to enjoy this moment now. When you start to play more games, or when you play every match, you have confidence and things are good for you, then you can keep smiling.

'I spent a long time practising tricks when I was young and my favourite was the elastico, which I try to do during games even now. I played like an attacker. I always wanted to attack, to have the ball, to dribble and score goals.'

The 29-year-old also talks readers through his favourite goals from the 13 he has scored already in 2017/18, as well as discussing his relationship with fellow forward Eden Hazard on and off the pitch.

'He's a very good guy, and we have a great relationship off the pitch,' he said. 'I think, when you have a great relationship off the pitch, things come easily when you are on it together. With him, it's easy to play.

'It feels good when we combine. I feel happy. He has a lot of quality, he's an amazing player.'

 

STEADY EDDIE

The Eighties was a period of ups and downs for Chelsea and goalkeeper Eddie Niedzwiecki experienced plenty of both during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Arguably the biggest high of his time with the Blues came early on, as he was one of several new signings to arrive in 1983 in a successful bid to win promotion back to the top flight.

'There were six of us who came in at the start of the season and we gelled straight away, both on and off the field,' remembers the Welshman. 'We beat Derby, who were promotion favourites, on the opening day and just grew from there – the snowball got bigger and bigger and bigger. The fans, as they kindly remind me from time to time, were so excited that season. It was like that for all of us.

'It really was an incredible season and when I look back it makes me smile. All the characters, everything we had at that time. Just special.'

However, there was also mixed emotions later in his Chelsea career, as an cruciate ligament injury ended his best season for the club early. He collected his Player of the Year award on crutches, and it robbed him of the chance to play in a cup final.

'Unfortunately, the injury was 10 days before the Full Members Cup final, so I missed out on Wembley. I've been lucky enough to go there as a coach but that dream never came true for me as a player. But I can still remember that reception when I walked on the pitch at Wembley on my crutches, and it was tremendous.'

MCCREADIE MEMORIES

The magazine also includes a look back at the career of Eddie McCreadie, the man 10th on our list of all-time appearance makers, in the Start to Finish feature, covering all 15 years of his time at Stamford Bridge, from part of the young but stylish Doc's Ducklings in the Sixties to the early-Seventies' legendary cup specialists before becoming Chelsea manager of a promotion-winning side later in the decade.

 

WHAT ELSE?

Deanna Cooper discusses her new contract and the work she is putting in to return from injury at the start of a huge few weeks for Chelsea Ladies, and Juan Castillo is the latest player from our Academy to discuss his development with the club so far. You can also relive some memorable European fixtures with a recap of our run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2003/04 and warm-up for the Chelsea Legends match against Inter Forever in May with a look at the best of our matches against Italian opposition in years gone by.

The latest edition of Chelsea, priced £3.25, is available now from the Stamford Bridge Megastore and all good newsagents.