I wonder whether, back in 2012, upon his arrival at Fiorentina, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado Bello from Necoclí, Colombia, even remotely thought that two and a half years later he would be not only a Chelsea player but the most valuable transfer deal during the Della Valle ownership at Fiorentina. It seems unlikely. However, most sports stories have happy endings and it is no different for the Colombian phenomenon.
Cuadrado leaves Florence and makes strides in his professional career, but not without a touch of melancholy. Florence has been a springboard that he, as many others before him, used to launch himself towards a brighter footballing future. Humble, grateful, ever smiling and never over the top: Cuadrado became Cuadrado thanks to Florence and Fiorentina, thanks to an environment that continues to nurture and value talented and gifted individuals, as Cuadrado has proven.
Bello e impossibile is the title of a famous song by Tuscan singer Gianna Nannini. Never could a phrase be more appropriate to describe the epilogue of Cuadrado’s career as a Fiorentina player. The transfer was a painful but inevitable decision, as Viola manager Vincenzo Montella rightfully pointed out. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a replacement for Cuadrado, but Chelsea’s offer, which even exceeded the buy-out clause in the player’s contract, was as difficult, if not as impossible, to refuse. As a football player, Cuadrado is a joy to watch and embodies all that football is about, but his talent outgrew what the club could offer him, and it became impossible to envision a long-term stay for ‘la Vespa.’ In his departure he leaves behind no hard feelings and, if anything, the transfer seems likely to reinforce what promises to be a lasting relationship of mutual understanding.
The distance from the banks of the Arno to those of the Thames may seem short, but in Chelsea the game gets tough and the tough get going. Stamford Bridge is a demanding stadium, as is Josè Mourinho as a manager, and Cuadrado may find himself fighting for a spot in the Special One’s starting line-up—a test that will likely fuel even more motivation for Cuadrado to show everyone, even in the Premier League, what he is truly capable of.
Hasta luego, Juan!
UPCOMING FIORENTINA matches
Fiorentina–Atalanta, February 8, 12:30pm
Sassuolo–Fiorentina, February 14, 6pm
Tottenham Hotspur–Fiorentina, February 19, 8:05pm
Fiorentina–Torino, February 22, 7:45pm
Fiorentina–Tottenham Hotspur, February 26, 6pm
Inter Milan–Fiorentina, March 1, 2pm