Three Delta arrivals land Chelsea contracts
News Wed 27 Jul 2016
Three kids saw their dreams come true in LA on Tuesday when they became Chelsea players for the day thanks to Delta Air Lines.
We teamed up with our official airline partner and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to give the three young men a taste of what it feels like to be a Blue, as part of Delta’s ‘Dream Up, LA’ campaign.
Blues fans Jacob Torres, Alex Idolor and Christopher Escobar were all selected after overcoming huge obstacles in their lives, and spent time with the squad as well as signing Chelsea contracts with Carlo Cudicini, who welcomed them to the team’s training facility at UCLA.
After signing their contracts and posing for photos alongside Cudicini, the trio fielded questions in their own Delta press conference before being invited behind the scenes with the Blues to watch Antonio Conte lead the morning training session.
At the end of the session, it was time for the guys to go through a few drills of their own. And so led by fitness coach Chris Jones, they joined Pedro, Nemanja Matic, Asmir Begovic, Victor Moses and Bertrand Traore in a full-on routine testing their technique, balance and fitness.
The group then headed back to the team hotel for lunch before another surprise – a table football match with four more players – Eden Hazard, Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta and Matt Miazga - and the presentation of match tickets to our game against Liverpool at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday evening.
Not only that, but Delta then presented the trio with flights to London, where they will watch the Blues in Premier League action at Stamford Bridge.
After meeting the youngsters and taking them on on the table, Azpilicueta said: ‘To make a meeting like this through Delta and Chelsea is a very good experience for these kids. They’ve had some tough times and to enjoy this with us, to go to our game on Wednesday and then to get to come to London is something really nice for them, and shows a good thing from the club.’
Sixteen-year-old Jacob shared his feelings on the day, admitting he had no idea what lay ahead when he arrived at the UCLA campus. ‘When we first got here I saw people with Chelsea jerseys and equipment, I’m a big fan, and when I realised it all I was in shock,’ he said.
‘Seeing training was awesome, a lot of fun and Pedro showed me a few things. Him, Willian and Hazard are my favourite players, it’s crazy. Now I’m so excited for the game, I had no clue, and to be going to London is awesome.’
Samantha Liljestrom, senior associate director for corporate partnerships at CHLA added: ‘Delta is an incredible supporter of CHLA, and they told us they had an incredible opportunity with Chelsea coming into the US. We did some investigative work and found the three guys who are huge soccer fans and play on various teams. We then created this surprise experience, and they had no idea what was going to go on.
‘It’s been incredible, so much more than I could have imagined, and seeing the looks on their faces has been excellent. They have all been treated at the Children’s Hospital, and it’s just been a great experience.’
The Delta table used for the games between the players will now be donated to the CHLA.