Brazil international Willian has terminated his contract with Corinthians after claiming he and his family were subjected to incessant threats by fans whenever his team lost.
The 34-year-old left Arsenal last August to re-join his boyhood club in Sao Paulo on a deal until December 2023.
But Corinthians president Duilio Monteiro Alves confirmed that Willian is leaving early after asking for a contract termination.
Arteta: Aubameyang not going anywhere, Willian could leave
26/08/2021 AT 12:55
“We are sad not to have him anymore and also because it didn’t go the way we expected. But we have to keep those here that are happy,” Alves said.
Willian scored one goal in 45 appearances in all competitions for Corinthians since his return, and featured as they were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores quarter-finals by Flamengo on Wednesday.
However, the former Chelsea winger explained to Globo Esporte on Friday that he was unable to continue amid constant abuse and concerns for his family members.
“The reasons for my departure are the threats I suffered, especially my family. The threats never stopped,” Willian said.
“Whenever Corinthians lost and if sometimes I was not doing well in the game, my family received threats, curses on social media. My wife, my daughters, after a while they also started attacking my father, my sister.
“When I returned to Brazil, I came back with a lot of desire to play for Corinthians, I knew the pressure, the demands, the criticism I would receive, but I did not come to Brazil to be threatened, to have my family threatened with every game I lost or if I didn’t play a good game.
“That’s the main reason. I know it’s not all fans, I know it’s the minority, but it ends up causing a very big impact and mental damage, especially on my daughters. Emotionally it affects a lot.”
Corinthians finished fifth in Brazil’s Serie A last season, and currently sit second after 21 games of the 2022 campaign.
Willian, who scored 36 goals in 258 Premier League games during his spells with Chelsea and Arsenal, has been linked with a return to England at newly-promoted Fulham.
The 70-cap Brazil international insisted that he doesn’t know what the future holds, but hinted at a return.
“My goal is to live abroad. In London, I have a British passport, so I can live and live there with my family, that’s my goal,” he said.
“I don’t have a club yet. I will decide there. I’m going to travel with the family and there I’ll decide calmly, with a clear head, to see what the best option for me will be, and my family as well.”
Ballon d’Or organisers explain Messi shorlist snub, defend Ronaldo inclusion
AN HOUR AGO