Kurt Zouma reveals secret behind his name, identifies Hollywood star who influenced it

Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has revealed the secret inspiration behind his name, and identified Hollywood star Jean Claude Van Damme.

The France international’s middle name of Happy is well known, but the defender’s first name is actually based on a character played by the action film star.

The 25-year-old’s mother was pregnant when she settled down with his father to watch the film Kickboxer – starring Belgian martial art superstar Van Damme.

He was playing the character Kurt Sloane, and from that moment the defender’s dad decided he wanted to name his unborn son the same name.

Zouma said: “When my mother was pregnant with me she was sitting watching a movie with my father.

“It was kickboxer, with Jean Claude Van Damme playing a guy called Kurt, and my father said ‘This baby coming, we’re going to call him Kurt, because he will be strong’.

“My mother just added one thing, ‘Okay, but we are going to call him Happy as well, because he will bring happiness. He will be smiling all day, every day’.

“So they called me Kurt Happy Zouma. You could say I was born to be strong and smiley.”

Zouma added: “I grew up near Lyon with five brothers and one sister. There was one room for five of us so i used to be quite tight with my brothers.

“But it was quite difficult sometimes – there were always fights between us, like there always are with brothers, but we had a lot of good times and we were very close.”

Lampard reveals how Azpilicueta reacted when he dropped him for Reece James, pinpoints reason for his decision

Frank Lampard has revealed how dropping Cesar Azpilicueta was easy for him – because the defender is such a Chelsea die-hard deep inside.

Azpilicueta was relegated to the bench as Reece James was handed his first Premier League start for the club – the latest young starlet off the Stamford Bridge production line.

Lampard opted to throw the 19-year-old in to shackle Wilfried Zaha, and James responded with an impressive display to show why he is regarded as the future at right-back in West London.

But the Chelsea boss says his club captain took the news well, despite admitting he could now face some tough decisions for the remainder of the season, The Sun report.

Lampard said: “These are the kind of decisions I have to make as a manager.

“It would have been harder to speak to Azpi about leaving him out if he wasn’t in his best form, but because he has been playing well he knew I was only looking to give Reece some minutes.

“Azpi is such a great person to have around the place, he wants everything for this club and he understands my need to look at other options.

“I thought Reece did well up against one of the best wingers in the Premier League, someone who is dangerous one on one, and on most of the occasions he dealt with Zaha which is not easy.

“As a manager I have to make these decisions, and if anything it’s given me some more decisions to make going forward.”

(WATCH VIDEO) Christian Pulisic scores Chelsea second goal against Crystal Palace

Chelsea pinged the ball around for a while. Then suddenly Kovacic, quarterbacking deep on the right, switched play towards Pulisic out on the left.

The American drove towards the box and slipped inside for Batshuayi, who swivelled and took a shot.

The Belgium striker saw his left-footed shot rebound off of Gary Cahill, Christian Pulisic is quickest to react and headed in from six yards his first Chelsea goal at Stamford Bridge in the 79th minute.

Watch the goal:

Jorginho reveals promise he made when Maurizio Sarri left Chelsea, explains how he survived early struggle at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea vice captain Jorginho has revealed his determination to prove himself at Stamford Bridge, especially without Maurizio Sarri, as chief motivating factor for his spectacular form, saying “I promised myself I wouldn’t lose this challenge.”

The midfielder was brought to Stamford Bridge from Napoli by Maurizio Sarri, but has seemingly found a whole new lease of life under Frank Lampard.

“It’s all going very well, but there’s no fluke about it, as I wanted to make my mark in the most competitive league in the world,” Jorginho told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper as cited by Football Italia.

“Coming to a club like Chelsea and playing in the Champions League represents a lot and I had promised myself I wouldn’t lose this challenge. It wasn’t easy, but I can see the light now.

“I wasn’t given the warmest of welcomes and it was a struggle at the start, because you need time to adapt when moving from one league to another. Unfortunately, there is very little patience in football.

“I give myself credit for not giving up, not letting myself get swept up in disappointment. This is why I can enjoy this experience even more now. I wanted to prove that I deserved to play in the Premier League with the Chelsea shirt.

“I also wanted to prove I could walk on my own two feet without support from Sarri. I can only think him for all he taught me and I owe Sarri a great deal. We had wonderful experiences together at Napoli and Chelsea, so I grew, matured and improved under his guidance.”

It was feared Jorginho would have no place in Lampard’s side, but has instead become even more integral.

“We got along straight away, from the pre-season training camp. There was the risk I could be considered a symbol of the previous coach, but Lampard wanted to judge me with fresh eyes.

“We now play more aggressive football and making vertical passes has never been a problem for me. I also dedicate a portion of my training to penalties. I repeat them over and over again.”

Photo Credit: Twitter @chelseafc.com

Chelsea star wants to return to Spain, says “we wait to see what happens in June”

Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero has confirmed he would like to return to Spanish football before he retires from playing.

The Argentine shot-stopper celebrated his 38th birthday in September and he is currently the back-up for Kepa Arrizabalaga at Stamford Bridge.

Caballero has played in Spain across nine seasons between Elche in the second division before joining Malaga in the top-flight in the 2010-11 campaign, report Football Espana.

“Returning to Argentina is not my plan because I feel like I am a European player now,” Caballero said, as cited by Diario AS.

“I would like to return to Spain. Elche or Malaga are options of course, but it’s not just a case of what I would want, but that the clubs want you and the circumstances they exist for that to happen.

“Now, I’m a Chelsea player and we wait to see what happens in June. I’m 38 but I feel in good form and perfectly ready to continue to play at a good level for longer.”