Former Chelsea and Arsenal star Willian has received death threats at Brazilian club Corinthians ahead of his expected Premier League return with Fulham. Willian is set for a shock return to England less than a year after his emotional return to his local side, and has now left Corinthians after facing death threats for his team getting eliminated from two important competitions in recent weeks.
The 34-year-old winger ended an unhappy 12-month stint at Arsenal by terminating his contract with the Gunners and intended to see out the remainder of his career with the Brazilian giants, but it hasn’t panned out as he had hoped. Willian is now on the verge of accepting an offer from Fulham and will join Marco Silva ’s newly promoted club, who gained an important point from their opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool.
‘I did not come to Brazil to get threatened,’ Willian told reporters for the Globo Esporte. ‘Whenever Corinthians lost and if sometimes I was not doing well in the game, my family received threats, and curses on social media. ‘My wife, my daughters, after a while (they) also started attacking my father, and my sister.’
Corinthians said in statement: ‘Corinthians accepted the dismissal of the athlete, the anticipation of the end of the contract. ‘Willian alleged private and family problems and the desire to leave Brazil. Corinthians is sorry, but respects the player’s decision.’
Willian first moved to England in 2013 and spent seven years at Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup. In total, he scored 63 goals in 339 games for the Blues before departing for Arsenal, where he scored one goal across 37 games.
Mikel Arteta had hoped that the experienced forward would help nurture the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, but Willian’s time at the Emirates was spectacularly unsuccessful.