Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has praised the influence of his “amazing” mother on his career.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, the Italy international said it was his mother rather than father who drove his love of football as a child.
A video of Maria Freitas breaking down in tears of joy after seeing shirts bearing her son’s name in the Chelsea club shop went viral in August.
“There are no words to describe her,” he said.
Speaking to Football Focus, Brazil-born Jorginho, a £57m signing from Napoli last summer, said: “How could I not talk about her? It’s impossible not to mention my mum. She is, has been and will always be amazing – everything that she’s done for me and that she still does. We are very close.
“She was the one getting me to practise football. My father has helped in other ways but my mum was the one grabbing the ball and telling me: ‘Come on! Let’s practise now. Let’s go. Right, right, left, left.’
“I would kick the ball up and she would be like: ‘No, control it like this.’ And so it went, many afternoons at the beach.”
Talking about the video of his mother seeing Chelsea shirts bearing his name for sale for the first time, he added: “Look at her! I’m never tired of this video. I have it on my phone and I always watch it because it’s incredible.
“Every time I go to a game, many times I watch it. It gives me strength, you know. It really does. You can see in her expression a film in her head with everything that we’ve been through.
“It hasn’t always been easy. There were difficult times in my career, in my story, and she has always been by my side. When I see her like this it gives me a lot of strength and energy. I think about everything that we’ve lived and how it was a dream for me to be here.
“Today I live a dream and it is not only mine. It’s my mom’s, my sister’s, my father’s, it’s a dream for those that love me, for people around me. That is why I’m so dedicated to this dream and it is amazing.”