In our look at the latest Chelsea-related news stories from the media, Chelsea stars present and past talk about their lives off the pitch.
These stories are samples pulled from external media sources. They do not represent the views or position of Chelsea Football Club.
Havertz reveals passion for animal welfare
New Chelsea signing Kai Havertz has revealed he has a passion for animal welfare and also enjoys playing the piano as a pastime, goal.com reports.
Speaking to reporters on a Zoom video link, the German midfielder spoke about his unusual affection for one animal.
‘It's funny, I loved donkeys as a kid very much, I think in my early years it was always my favourite animal,’ said Havertz.
‘So it was always a dream for me to have one someday and now it's a good opportunity to help donkeys that are from the circus or places like that.
‘It will be a big project for me in the next years. As I said I try to do my best to help as many animals as possible, they are very important for us and for the world. I try to do my best to help them have a better life.
‘Of course, football is one of the most important things in my life as well but to be honest, there are very many more important things in life than football, and I'm trying to do my best to help as much as I can.’
Havertz also spoke about what inspired him to play the piano and why he still enjoys doing it in his spare time
‘My brother started playing the guitar at a young age, and I wanted to do the same,’ he added. ‘That's the reason why I started the piano. My grandma had a piano at home so I was playing as a kid sometimes.
‘For three years I just wanted to start playing the piano. And now whenever I want to play, I play, and it makes me feel comfortable and it's fun.’
Cole opens up on his media persona
Speaking to Jamie Redknapp in a lengthy and candid interview for the Daily Mail, Ashley Cole has opened up on his feelings about his portrayal as a pantomime villain by some media and fans during his playing career.
While the former full-back enjoyed a successful career with Chelsea and Arsenal, he often attracted negative headlines which he says portrayed him as ‘a devil, a cheater, a bad guy’.
‘Headlines and stories provoke a mindset and perception of people. In all honesty, it changed me,’ said Cole, who played 338 games for Chelsea from 2006 to 2014 and now coaches our Under-16 side.
‘I used to be a shy kid — quiet, polite. I would help Arsenal’s kit man, Vic Akers. If players left their kit on the floor, I’d pick it up and put it in the washing bin. It took me a few seconds and showed respect.
‘But the newspapers perceived me as this devil. I got defensive. I wanted to protect myself. I said: “No one cares about me. No one is coming in my circle.”
‘Did I make mistakes when I was younger? Of course, but I understand that now. I understand the world and right from wrong. I’ve lived through life — the good, the bad, the ugly, the unbelievable.’
Bilic expects Ivanovic to make mark on Baggies
West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic has spoken about his delight at signing Branislav Ivanovic and believes the former Chelsea defender will make a big impression on the newly-promoted side, the Express and Star reports.
The Serbian has inked a one-year deal with the Baggies after leaving Zenit St Petersburg as a free agent and Bilic feels he will play a part in helping his side consolidate their place in the Premier League.
‘I’ve known him a long time, he’s a very positive guy. When I first heard he was available, we acted straight away to get him,’ explained Bilic.
“It’s a great thing for us he came, he’s extremely hungry and motivated. This was a no brainer, absolutely.
‘He ticks all the boxes. Free, important. Experience, important, but he’s not here to tell us stories from the Champions League! The most important thing is quality of the player.’
While Ivanovic missed West Brom’s 5-2 defeat at Everton last Saturday, Bilic expects him to be available for action soon.
‘He didn’t train from the end of last season, but he’s one of those guys who was born fit,” the Croatian added.
‘We won’t rush him, but it won’t take him long. The most important thing is his opinion, he’s not a kid, he knows when he’s ready, according to his words, it’ll be soon.’