Welcome to my new feature, on a weekly basis I will be searching former Blues players to find out where they went after leaving us and what they are doing now.
First up, we have a former Barcelona youth product who actually ended up making over 200 appearances for the La Liga giants, right back Albert Ferrer.
Ferrer joined the Barcelona youth ranks in 1986 and stayed there for 12 years making appearances for the youth team, Barcelona B and then the senior squad, becoming a regular before making his move to Chelsea in 1998 for £2.2 million. Whilst at Barcelona, he was a successful member of the squad that was named ‘The Dream Team’ and enjoyed some of his best football of his career. He proudly won The European Cup, The UEFA Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Super Cup, The Spanish Cup twice, The Spanish Super Cup four times and incredibly he won the Spanish league five times. A great record.
He joined Chelsea with a high reputation and was a fast, hard tackling defender who liked to get forward. However, like many of our right backs in recent years, he could be somewhat suspect at the back and fairly inconsistent at times.
With that said though, he went on to make over 70 appearances for us and was a regular during his early career, helping us to qualify for our first ever Champions League campaign. Due to the squad rotation and younger defenders coming in, his chances became limited and his Chelsea career was nearing its end.
It was deemed a success however and he did pick up two FA Cup trophies, one Super Cup and one Community Shield all in the space of 5 years. Chelsea was his final club during his playing career and he retired from football at the young age of just 33.
For Spain, Ferrer was a regular within the youth ranks, and also featured 36 times in the senior squad. He was the main right back in a squad that won the Olympic Gold in 1992 and was also a regular in the 1994 World Cup.
Although he was sometimes critisised during his time at Chelsea, he was ever reliable, always worked hard and would always put in a tough tackle when needed. A very gritty player who was perhaps at times, quite under rated.
As with many ex players, Ferrer went on to become a football commentator on Spanish television for several years. He then went on to complete his coaching badges and get into football management. He started his managerial career in Holland, managing Vitesse for only one season. Although he kept the club from relegation by finishing in 15th place, the clubs board decided to relief him from his duties and his managerial career has hit a rock for now.
Now at the ripe old age of 42, I’ve heard that Ferrer has kept himself busy doing various interviews, writing, and pundit work whilst he searches for his next coaching opportunity and aims to get back into it again. Considering that Ferrer has lined up alongside Roberto Di Matteo before as a Chelsea player, could RDM be willing to give him a coaching role at Stamford Bridge now? Hmm, probably not I’d assume!
Funnily enough, the last we heard of Albert Ferrer, was in an interview in April 2012, being questioned about Chelsea’s Semi Final Champions League match against Barcelona, when of course we went on to win the game and the tournament. Poor old Ferrer stated “For the opposition, it is impossible to defend and press Barcelona for 90 minutes, the opposition will drop physically and Barcelona will take their chance”. I’m guessing Albert did not take in to consideration the physical lions that we had in our squad that night!
One random thing I always remember about Albert Ferrer? His hair…. Strange I know, but I always remember how I thought he should cut his hair short because it was thinning so bad it looked funny and had lots of gaps in it.
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Simon Phillips – News Editor