Brazil’s Willian leaves Arsenal for boyhood team Corinthians

August 30, 2021 GMT

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian winger Willian said on Monday he will join his boyhood club Corinthians after terminating his contract with Arsenal.

The 33-year-old Willian reached an agreement hours earlier to cut his contract with the English Premier League club two years early.

Willian spoke to Corinthians fans in a live broadcast with club president Duilio Monteiro Alves. He started his career at the Sao Paulo-based club, from where he left for Shakhtar Donetsk at age 17 in 2007.

“I am ready. I am here anxious to get back and wear this shirt,” the winger said.

The Brazil international joined Arsenal from Chelsea at the start of last season and made 37 appearances.

Willian’s best moments were at Chelsea, where he played from 2013-20. He won two Premier League titles and a Europa League trophy. But at Arsenal he was far from his previous form; he scored only once for the club.

“I came to England in 2013 and I have enjoyed every minute of my time here,” Willian said on Instagram. “I always want to win and I find it hard to accept not doing so. Unfortunately it didn’t happen for me at Arsenal and I am sorry about that.”


The winger played for Brazil in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

Corinthians is sixth in the Brazilian championship table after 18 matches. Arsenal is on the bottom of the Premier League with no points after three rounds.

Willian did not play on Saturday at Arsenal’s 5-0 humiliation at Manchester City.

Brazilian media reported Willian walked away from about 20 million pounds ($27.5 million). Arsenal said the termination conversations were positive and wished the winger good luck at his new club.

“I received a lot of criticism especially from some members of the press that I had come here for financial reasons,” Willian said. “I hope with my actions today explain to those people and they now understand that was not the case.”


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