Willian on the especial year at Fulham and racism in football: “We expect more from the authorities”

The Brazilian midfielder talked to Sambafoot about his love for London and his successful season in the Premier League
Josué Seixas
2023-05-26 15:22:18

Willian’s return to England, and specifically to London, was like finding himself again. The Brazilian never hid his passion for the city. It was there that he spent most of his career, always at a high level, at Chelsea, Arsenal and currently with Fulham.

In 10th place in the Premier League, Fulham will finish their season this Sunday against Manchester United. The Londoners relied on an ever-skilled Willian to reach this result, one of the best in the team’s league history.


The interview, which took place a week ago, dealt with moments in the player’s career in football away from Brazil. After the talk with Sambafoot, there were new cases of racism against Vinicius Junior in the match between Valencia and Real Madrid last weekend. Willian analyzed this hard subject inside the sports environment and in the world.

“This is an important issue, about racism. I always say that we players do not have the power to make decisions, to set the punishment or punish someone who is racist or something like that. We were only able to share and expose the situation on our social networks and somehow try to fight racism. We don’t have the authority to do more than that. Who can punish, banish if necessary, someone who is racist are the directors, the federation presidents, club presidents, anyway. These are the people who can intervene in a situation like this and really punish whoever is the racist to fight this issue that really bothers us players. We do what we can, but we expect a lot more, much more, from the authorities and people who have the power to do it and end up not doing it,” he said.

Check out below other answers from Willian:

What is your best Fulham moment to date? The best story, something you will always remember.

I have experienced special moments. Each game has been special, each victory has been important. I think it can be said that our away game against Southampton was a special moment. The club has reached 15 Premier League wins and I think that was a number that the club perhaps never reached. This year we achieved that. We can still beat 55 points if we win in the next game. If we reach that, we reach the team’s record for points in history – if I’m not mistaken, the maximum was 53. This game against Southampton was special and we have this goal of also breaking this record. It will definitely be very special.

An equally cool and important moment was in the matches against Chelsea, both in the first, at home, and in the second, at Stamford Bridge. After many years playing there at Chelsea, I left and when I was at Arsenal I had not played there against Chelsea. Being able to go back there, and be received the way I was, was very special for me. This season has had special moments. Every game has been important and this one against Chelsea was very special.

I didn’t expect to be received the way I was. I was very surprised by the affection and respect of Chelsea fans for me. It was a very emotional day for me and my family, the party they had from when I went to the pitch for warming-up and then when I was replaced in the second half, the whole stadium applauded me, they sang my song, so it was really special.

In the game against Leicester, you scored two goals. What did it mean?

In that Leicester game, I got to score twice, it’s true. It’s always good when we score goals, especially two in a single game. It was certainly an important game, a game where the team played well and I was able to contribute not only with goals, but with good plays. I played really well too. It’s good to receive affection from the fans. 

Since my arrival, I have received their affection and with each passing game this has been visible. Whenever I’m substituted, they applaud a lot, they shout my name. This has been really nice and I try to pay back this affection on the pitch by playing well and helping the team.

Not only in this game against Leicester, but throughout the season I’ve been doing very well, regardless of the goals I’ve been producing a lot for the team, playing well, creating moves, giving passes to goal. This game was a reflection of what has been happening this season with me and the team as well, playing good games and always evolving. 

Why do you like London so much? In England, you only played in this city. 

It’s true, I only played in the London teams here in England (laughs). Chelsea, Arsenal and now Fulham. I love the city. I fell in love with the city the first time I came here. I like it a lot, as does my family. We love living here, living in London. It’s an amazing, fantastic city and has so many things to do. Many restaurants, malls, parks, many attractions, such as theater, concerts. It’s an amazing city. For me, it’s one of the best, if not the best city in the world to live in. For me, it’s the best in the world (laughs). I like it a lot, I really like it. In your free time, you can enjoy yourself, go out, go to a restaurant, walk around, stop at a cafe, lots os things. It’s an amazing city.