Social Media abuse made me quit Arsenal, says Willian

Willian has opened up about the circumstances surrounding his exit from Arsenal at the beginning of the season.

Social media abuse targeted at Willian, his former clubs and his family contributed to the major reason why the Brazilian chose to leave the Emirates and England for Brazil.

The 33-year-old now lines up for Brazilian Serie A side Corinthians and has been enjoying a new lease of life as he helps the team towards their objectives this season.

Willian first came to Europe from his boyhood club Corinthians and has enjoyed a trophy-laden career since then playing in Russia, Ukraine and England.

After a turbulent time at Arsenal, he has returned to where it all began to possibly see out the rest of his career. In a tell-all interview with Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five podcast.

Willian left a three-year contract behind and a £20 million pay out just to get away from the constant abuse he suffered at the hands of Arsenal fans.

Arsenal fans were initially excited about his signing and Willian gave them something to be excited about after a hat trick of assists in his first game.

The following games were hellish for Willian, who struggled for confidence which eventually cost him the love he earned with performances from the first game.

The Gunners fans immediately resulted to abuse, targeting the player, his family, his past achievements and his career in general. It also didn’t help as his form led to his place in the team being usurped by Bukayo Saka who, frankly, has been one of Arsenal’s best performers in the past two seasons.

“I received a lot of messages on social media from them,” Willian told Rio Ferdinand on his Vibe with Five podcast.

“I think it’s also because I came from Chelsea. I think if I came from another club, it maybe could have been better.

“I came from Chelsea, where I did perform well and everything was happy, so I always thought about that and thought ‘I have to go’.”

“I was not happy”, Willian says

The attacking midfielder said to Ferdinand that his poor form led to confidence issues and made him begin to withdraw mentally from Arsenal.

“I was not happy, that’s why I didn’t perform. I don’t want to go into the details, but I wasn’t happy,” the 33-year-old explained.

“So, when I arrived there I was happy, from the beginning I was motivated, I wanted to do well, new club, new mates, new projects.”

“After three months, I told my agent ‘please, I want to go’. I don’t want to speak bad about the club because it is a big club, has a big history in football, big players played there before it’s a big club.”

At the end of the season, Willian had become so disenfranchised that he chose instead to leave the club and abandon earnings in the range of £20.5 million, according to Sky Sports.

Willian is now enjoying life with Corinthians and is feeling a lot more confident about his football since leaving Arsenal and England 

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