Chelsea appear set to confirm the signing of the Fiorentina and Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado before the transfer deadline on Monday, but just what will the Blues be getting for their money?
Cuadrado is a familiar face to many following his sparkling performances on the wing for the exciting Colombian side at the World Cup, but what else do we know about him?
1 The 26-year-old Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello was born on 26th May 1988 in Necocli, Colombia, exactly the same day as St Louis Rams wide receiver Damian Williams and Australian discus world champion Dani Samuels. Just before you think that this must be the most sporting birthday ever, though, Jason Manford, Patsy Palmer, Helena Bonham Carter and Lauryn Hill also blow out candles on that day too.
2 Like so many of the best players in their age group, the young Cuadrado started out as a forward, banging in the goals for Atletico Uraba. However his quality was soon needed elsewhere on the pitch, and he moved to the wing before being snapped up by Independiente Medellin, the five-time Colombian champions.
3 Just 30 league games was enough to convince Udinese of his quality, and the Serie A side took him to Italy in 2009. However that kicked off a frustrating spell for the winger, and it wasn’t until he moved to Lecce on loan in 2011 that his talent really began to show, and he shone despite Lecce’s relegation in the 2011/12 season – sort of like a reverse Ricky van Wolfswinkel for Norwich.
4 That was enough to convince Fiorentina to make their move and they purchased half of the player in one of those complicated joint-ownership deals they like to do in Italy. After two stellar seasons for the Viola, the club bought him fully last summer.
5Part of the reason for doing that was Cuadrado’s wonderful World Cup. He registered four assists in Brazil, the same amount as Germany’s Toni Kroos and the joint-most in the competition. He also scored one goal – a penalty – in the 4-1 group stage win over Japan.
6 ‘Cuadrado’ means ‘Square’ in Spanish, at least according to Google Translate, which as we know is never wrong. Chicken.
7 Chelsea’s players had better watch out if Cuadrado does sign, as he’s a fan of a practical joke if this Vine from Colombia’s World Cup camp is anything to go by.
Can’t imagine JT standing for this.
8Maybe Jose Mourinho plays Football Manager? According to Iain Macintosh on these very pages, the winger is one of the best players to sign in FM15.
Iain says: “Cuadrado is preposterously quick, he loves a dribble, he can play anywhere in the front line or the gap behind, and he’ll even make a decent wing-back, should you feel so inclined.”
What’s not to like?
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