“At times, when it gets tough, then I think about that” – Chelsea’s new signing opens up on how immigrant parents fuelled his football dream

Chelsea goalkeeper opens up about immigrant parents
Chelsea goalkeeper opens up about immigrant parents' sacrifice that fuelled his football dream

Chelsea goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina has opened up about the sacrifices his immigrant parents made to support the youngster's aspirations in football.

The Blues signed Slonina from Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire in the summer transfer window for £12 million. The 18-year-old keeper is currently back with the American side on loan.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the American said:

“They came over from Poland when they were 20 and 21 and didn’t know the language or anything. At times, when it gets tough, then I think about that.
"If they can figure it out in a country where they don’t know anything or even the language, then whatever I am going through, I will get through it as well."

He added:

"They inspired me with their hard work.”

Slonina also expressed his joy at joining a top-level outfit like Chelsea, playing in the prestigious English top-flight. He said:

"My friends always sent me screenshots of the internet rumours and my names with one of the best clubs in the world. It is still a bit weird as Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs and to think where I started from to get to that point is unbelievable."

Slonina further conveyed his determination to improve as a keeper before joining the Blues in January 2023. He added:

“I am grinding, waking up before the sun rises and going to sleep super early because when I look back at 34 years old, I will thank myself that I did all that. I want to leave a good image and representation of myself before I join Chelsea.”

Slonina will return to the west London club as an understudy to Edouard Mendy but will look to become an established starter in the future.

Gabriel Slonina shares details of phone call with Chelsea legend prior to Stamford Bridge move

Slonina was astonished to hear from Chelsea legend and former technical advisor Petr Cech prior to his move to Stamford Bridge. The American proclaimed:

“I almost thought it was fake [when Cech called]. I had to listen in to make sure it was him, luckily I didn’t hang up. I couldn’t believe that I was talking to Petr Cech so to listen to him and his advice was an honour."

He added in high praise of the retired goalkeeper:

“I was super impressed that he knew my game. It shows how to conduct yourself when you get to a certain place in life. It is a credit to him and what a legend he is that he is trying to inspire younger keepers. He a great guy.”

The Blues are currently seventh in the Premier League table and will next face Crystal Palace away on October 1.

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Edited by Puranjay
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