Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


27.04.2009 11:12

Belletti: Chelsea player, Barça fan

Berta Brau

Belletti says he’s got used to his new city and says that people respect him more for his Barça past. He misses the Camp Nou, the city and especially the fans, but during the semi-final he’ll be putting personal feelings to one side.

Juliano Belletti signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2007 after three successful years at Barcelona. Since then he hasn’t been back to Camp Nou, but the Champions League draw paired his previous and current clubs. He spoke to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat in his London home about his past, present and future and, of course, that goal.

How are things in London and at Chelsea? Have you fully got used to the change?

“It wasn’t hard because London is an incredible city, plus there are other Brazilians and Portuguese players in the side. Chelsea also help you to feel at home. It’s a great club with great players, and I’m lucky to have ended up at such a great club and in such an incredible city.”

Has your family made the change of country and club well?

“Yes. I’ve had my second child here and my wife lived in London when she was a student. Now she’s a Pilates teacher. My two-year-old Patrick is getting on well at school, and I think that’s because Britain welcomes people and makes them feel at home. I see people from all over the world and they seem very happy here.”

What was it like changing to a team which was one of Barça’s fierce rivals?

03-12-06_Web_Belletti_e_hijo_01.jpg“People respect me for having been a Barça player. One of Chelsea’s most important games was a 4 - 2 win over Barça in the Champions League a few years ago. People here have a lot of respect for Barcelona’s football and its players. Players, fans and everyone always have a good word to say about Barça and their game. We know how good they are.”

What changes have there been in your life since you left Barcelona?

“It’s different because there I didn’t live with my kids and now I’ve got two. Chelsea’s training ground is around 30 minutes away on the outskirts of the city and we almost always train in the morning. Football here is a lot more intense, more physical, the grounds are smaller and teams look for one-on-ones, balls into the box, which makes it harder to play but it’s still attractive. The fans are different, because here you get fans who are really passionate about their teams, more than I’ve seen elsewhere including Brazil, and that’s true down into the second and third divisions. They are the most passionate fans I’ve ever seen.”

There have also been changes in where you play on the pitch. How’s that going?

“When I arrived they changed me from being a full-back and now at the age of 30 I’m a midfielder like I was in Brazil. I’ve scored a lot of goals from there, though at Chelsea scoring is easier because of the great players around you. I don’t know if I’ll go back to full back but I’m enjoying the midfield.”

What does playing against your former club mean to you?

fcb-mallorca-belletti_x1x.jpg“I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I think about going back to Camp Nou and I don’t know if it’s tension, curiosity to see how I’ll be received, if I want to beat a great Barça team... It’s weird. Everyone says they want to play for Barça and I was there three years and won the League and the Champions League. So I’ve done what many great players haven’t been able to. I love the club, the city and whenever I can I get away to Barcelona. I want to see what’s going on there, but that’ll have to wait until I go to Camp Nou and I see it all again.”

What did you think when Chelsea drew Barça?

“I couldn’t believe it. I left a club where I was treated really well and the fans and the people were great, so playing against them is a bit weird. I don’t know, we’ll see, I’m curious to see what happens.”

Do you often think about your goal in Paris?

“(He laughs and then is silent for while, perhaps thinking about that historic goal). More before. When I go to Barcelona, I do it every day. I try to live in the present; the year after winning the title I thought about it a lot, less the following year. But sometimes it comes up with teammates or on TV. When I go to Barcelona I do normal things like go to the chemist’s or the supermarket, and fans come up to me to say “thanks for the goal ". The thing I hear most about is people who went on a bender that day after the game. It’s something unforgettable for Barça and for me as well, because full-backs don’t score that many and especially not to win massive finals. It’ll be with me all my life.”

How do you think the fans will greet you?

BF1F2907_.jpg“No idea. I’ve seen a lot of players go back to play against their former clubs and they get some stick. Very few have left a team and remained popular there. I’ll only know on the day of the game but I’ve had messages from friends in Barcelona joking about it so I reckon, and hope, there’ll be no problem.”

Are you still in touch with your former teammates?

“Not so much as before. Now we’re pretty scattered with Ronaldinho at Milan, Thiago Motta also in Italy at Genoa, but I exchange messages with people who work at the club, and especially with Brazilians outside the club because there are lots there. I left Barcelona but if we have time off here in London we head back, plus we go there during holidays as it’s a great city and I love being there.”
Belletti: Chelsea player, Barça fan

To view this content you need the latest version of the Flash Player

Messages to Barça players and fans
What message would you send to your ex-teammates and upcoming Champions League rivals?

“I’d say to them that playing for Barça is every footballer’s dream, because it’s a great club and plays great football. I’ve played there and tried to enjoy it to the full; I won silverware, I played with the best, I made a bit of history... I miss all of that. You always do when you have good times with a team. So I think those playing there now need to make the most of it as being a Barça player is different and you have to enjoy yourself. There’s responsibility, there’s pressure, but above all you have to enjoy yourself.”

And to the Barça fans?

“Scoring the goal in Paris changed by relationship with the fans, because now people see me as an unforgettable player, and I think the same of the fans. I played at Barça for three seasons, and the fans always respected me and told me what they thought to my face. I miss playing at Camp Nou, especially because of the fans. I played on at full-back, and they were always near me and I miss them. But I hope they all understand I’m now a Chelsea player, and I want my team to win and I’ll have to forget my Barça experience for 180 minutes. It’s a pity I have to go back to Camp Nou to play against Barça because I didn’t expect it, but that’s football.
“I’d also ask them to enjoy the game and if I can’t come back to the club as a player, maybe one day I can come back to work there one day. That way I’ll be back with the fans. That’s what I’d like.”

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

Football News

Back to top
Top of page