Fernando: ‘Chelsea have quality but we travel in hope’

Sevilla’s midfield rock says his spirited team have the collective resources to cause a Champions League upset at Stamford Bridge

“One touch, two. If there are three, something strange has happened.” It’s early evening in Seville, the sun is coming through a crack in the curtain, and as Fernando is discussing his craft, there is a calm, almost peaceful simplicity to the way he talks, which Sevilla supporters have come to see reflected in his play. On Tuesday the former Manchester City midfielder returns to England, but don’t expect to see him on the ball much at Stamford Bridge. That’s not what he’ll be there for.

“It’s a very hard place to play and we’ll struggle: Chelsea have quality, talented players, but we travel in hope, knowing we can leave happy,” the 33-year-old Brazilian says. Recent history suggests he could be right. It took an extra-time winner for Bayern Munich to defeat Sevilla in the European Super Cup and they land in London as Europa League winners, having defeated Manchester United in the semi-finals and then Internazionale in the final. “I got messages from City fans congratulating me,” he grins. Unbeaten in the league, something is building and if there is a team that can resist, it is they. And if there is a player who can, it is he.

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Fernando: ‘Chelsea have quality but we travel in hope’