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Juliano Belletti


DavidEU

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Name: Juliano Belletti

Position: Right Back

Number: 35

Joined From: Barcelona

Fee: £3.5 million

Signed by: Jose Mourinho

Age: 31

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Juliano Belletti signed for Chelsea in the summer of 2007 for around £3.5million from FC Barcelona. He is most famous for scoring the winner in the 2006 Champions League final for Barcelona against Arsenal. After a long summer chasing Sevilla's Brazilian right-back Daniel Alves, Chelsea instead settled for his compatriot Juliano Belletti, due to the price tag demanded for Alves.

Belletti first moved to Europe in 2002, as a World Cup winner with Brazil earlier in the summer. Spanish club, Villarreal snapped him up, after spells with Brazilian clubs Cruzerio, Sao Paulo and Atletico Mineiro. After two-years with Villarreal he moved on however to FC Barcelona.

The move was understandably exciting for Belletti, as Barcelona were a team in transition, after a few years struggling in La Liga. The likes of Samuel Eto'o, Deco and Ludovic Guily joined with Belletti that summer, adding to a squad that already contained Ronaldinho, Carles Puyol and Xavi.

Belletti and Barcelona won La Liga in his first season, with Juliano becoming a first team regular with the Catalan side. The following season, they won the title again, as well as the UEFA Champions League, where Belletti scored an 82nd minute winner to beat 10 men Arsenal. Despite the season not going as well personally for Belletti, he finished it in pretty much the ideal fashion, putting his name in Barcelona's history books forever.

Despite Belletti's match-winner, he was not included in Brazil's World Cup 2006 squad, and Barcelona decided to spend big on Juventus' full-back Gianluca Zambrotta. The 2006-2007 was a hugely disappointing season for Belletti. Due to injury and competition from Thuram, Oleguer and Zambrotta, games were limited, and it was no surprise he decided to move on in 2007.

On 23rd August 2007, Chelsea officially announced the signing of Juliano Belletti from Barcelona. This game as a shock to the majority of Chelsea fans, as many expected the club to spend big of Daniel Alves instead.

However, Belletti has impressed Chelsea fans thus far since making his debut for Chelsea on the 25th August against Portsmouth. His first start for the club came in a two-nil defeat to Villa.

After just a month of Belletti being with Chelsea, manager Jose Mourinho left the club, and was replaced by Avram Grant. Under Grant, Belletti has pretty much been a constant feature in the side, due to impressive form, and injury to Paulo Ferriera.

He scored his first Chelsea goal away to Wigan on the 3rd November 2007 in spectacular fashion, dribbling the length of the pitch before riffling an unstoppable shot past Chris Kirkland.

In his first few months at the club, Belletti has impressed the Chelsea faithful with his attacking ability, although many believe he must still improve defensively. His long range shooting ability as well as his talent to dribble, cross and pick a pass has made him a popular member of the Chelsea squad.

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Chelsea today, Thursday 23rd August, completed their second Brazilian signing within a fortnight, however, not the one most people expected. After a month of speculation regarding Sevilla’s right-back powerhouse Daniel Alves, Spanish media announced that Juliano Belletti had agreed to join the Blues on Wednesday evening, which was confirmed by Chelsea the following day.

The signing of the 31-year old right-back will be yet another controversial Chelsea signing, due to the departure of eccentric winger Arjen Robben on the same day.

Belletti will be a player Chelsea fans will know well. He played right-back in both legs as Chelsea beat Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League in 2005, including an own goal to give the Blues the lead in the Nou Camp. He also featured at the Bridge in the second leg, in which Barcelona lost 4-2, with a goal from captain John Terry winning the game. He also scored a late winner in the 2006 final against Arsenal, which brought joy to most Chelsea fans.

Belletti joined Barcelona from Villarreal in 2004, after two impressive seasons with the yellow submarine. The move was part of a re-building process of Barcelona. The Catalan’s had been struggling for a number of years, but new president Juan Laporta gave Barcelona a Chelsea-style new look, signing the likes of Champions League finalists, Deco from Porto, and Ludovic Giuly from Monaco, left-backs Gio van Bronckhorst and Sylvinho, Brazilian Edmilson, and hit-man Samuel Eto’o from Mallorca. Coupled with the likes of Carles Puyol, Ronaldinho and Xavi, Barcelona were now the predominant force in Spain yet again.

In his 3 years with Barcelona, he has won a host of top honours, including two La Liga titles, and a UEFA Champions League. However, throughout his time at the club, he gradually dropped down the pecking order. Despite scoring the winning goal in Paris against Arsenal in the Champions League final, Barcelona decided to splash the cash on Juventus’ full-back Gianluca Zambrotta, who made the position his own last season and Belletti was restricted to just 13 games last season, leading to speculation of a move away from Catalunia, with Milan and Newcastle reportedly showing interest.

A summer always sees Chelsea linked with the best, and this one was no exception, and it was widely speculated that we would look to bring in a right-back. Glen Johnson returned from a loan deal at Portsmouth, but lacked confidence during preseason, and in early games of the season, and a link to Daniel Alves was immediately made. However, with a price unable to be met, Chelsea seem to have now pulled out of negotiations, unwilling to pay the price-tag of €40million slapped on Sevilla’s star man.

The deal to bringing Belletti to SW6 was a swift move, with the player admitting his surprise at the speed of the transfer, announcing the deal took less than 24 hours. Despite the constant speculation regarding Daniel Alves pretty much all summer, it’s a different Brazilian full-back that will challenge for the spot to help Chelsea win our Premier League crown back.

TalkChelsea would like to wish Juliano the best of luck at Stamford Bridge.

Article written by DP89 for CFCfans 23/08/2007

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In blue shirt from 2007 till 2010

94 appearances, 5 goals

The owner of The Chelsea Goal Of The Season award for 2007-08

Incredibly versatile and very favourite among the fans, Juliano will always be hailed as Chelsea legend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ5WQIdKEFU

(video by Gilvorak)

Edited by milan.cech
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