MY FIRST DAY: PART ONE
The first day in any new workplace can often be a daunting one, but how does it feel when you join a top, Premier League football club?
With players returning to Cobham later this week for the start of pre-season training, the official Chelsea website asks members of our squad to take a stroll down memory lane and recall how they felt on their very first day as a Chelsea player.
I was staying at a hotel in central London, I remember the driver taking me down to Cobham and because of the heavy traffic, I thought there and then about living by the training ground. We played against Sunderland that night so I was training on my own, I trained inside because there were a lot of people around and the club didn't want them to see me. I met all the staff upstairs, the people in the kitchen, everybody in the building and it was a nice welcome, it was a special day. I went back to the hotel afterwards to watch the game and Carlo Ancelotti called me to say I would be training with my new teammates the following day.
The main thing I remember about my first day was the limousine. It was in LA in pre-season when I first joined up with the rest of the squad. Gary Staker [player liaison officer] was waiting for me in a limousine, and I was thinking to myself "welcome to my new world".
I knew Didier before I came here so we were in contact before I made the move, he was the one I spoke to who gave me little pieces of information and advice. I also knew Claude Makelele and Michael Essien as well, which was a big help. I was surprised to find so many French speakers when I joined.
I was then introduced to Jose Mourinho, who was the manager at the time, and we had a nice conversation in French, which was a shock as I didn't know he could speak French, that's why from the first day I felt very much at home.