Schur­rle rel­ishes re­turn to the Bridge – three years af­ter poi­soned farewell

Sal­monella caused Ful­ham play­maker’s Chelsea exit Man­ager Ranieri will also be back at his for­mer club

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Ian Baker

An­dre Schur­rle has re­vealed that his Chelsea ca­reer was bizarrely ended by a bout of sal­monella poi­son­ing picked up while eat­ing chicken on in­ter­na­tional duty.

The Ful­ham play­maker will make his first re­turn to Stam­ford Bridge to­day since be­ing sold by Jose Mour­inho to VfL Wolfs­burg for £22 mil­lion in early 2015.

The Ger­man has now made pub­lic the rea­son he left Chelsea – and it was all down to food poi­son­ing in Poland in Oc­to­ber 2014.

Schur­rle sug­gested he lost nearly a stone in weight af­ter be­ing laid low and never re­cov­ered his strength dur­ing his time play­ing un­der Mour­inho.

“In my first year, I was re­ally happy. I started half the games or a lit­tle bit more,” he said. “I had quite good stats, I had goals, im­por­tant goals for the team. That con­fi­dence from the man­ager, too. I knew he wanted a lot from me, but I knew I could han­dle it. It was amaz­ing be­ing there.

“Then the sec­ond year was just very dif­fi­cult. I had re­ally bad sal­monella. I was get­ting re­ally weak. I was out for maybe three weeks and, com­ing back, I never re­ally got the chance to prove my­self be­ing back 100 per cent. That was when I got the op­por­tu­nity to go back to Ger­many, and he let me go.

“I got ill with the na­tional team. You see how skinny I am, so to lose three, four, five ki­los, it took me a re­ally long time to get the strength back. It was a bit of chicken, and I’ve never eaten chicken since.”

Schur­rle has now gone veg­e­tar­ian and is on close to a ve­gan diet.

“We didn’t find out for a week that it was sal­monella, so I was just at home be­ing sick and re­ally feel­ing like I can’t get out of bed,” he said. “We then found out it was sal­monella and treated it. So, for me, the most cru­cial thing was, as skinny as I am, I lose more weight and didn’t have any strength in my body.

“Com­ing back from that it took me a re­ally long time.”

Schur­rle made only five Premier League starts that sea­son but still picked up a sur­prise win­ners’ medal. “It is at home in Ger­many, at my par­ents’, in the safe there,” he said. “That is where all the medals are. It is weird. I didn’t think I would get one. They said you have to play four or five games. Not be­ing there, then get­ting the medal, you feel like part of the team but not the big­gest part be­cause you left at half-time, and the team did the rest.

“It was a nice ges­ture be­ing in­vited and get­ting the medal. Ob­vi­ously, I prob­a­bly don’t have the same feel­ing as the guys that were there the whole sea­son. Jose texted me the day af­ter the League Cup: ‘Con­grat­u­la­tions, League Cup win­ner!’ and then he texted me af­ter they won the ti­tle: ‘Con­grat­u­la­tions, cham­pion of Eng­land! Please come to the cer­e­mony, we are hav­ing a party with all the guys’.

“It was a nice ges­ture and if I would have had the time, I would have come. I’ve not gone back to Stam­ford Bridge since, al­though I’ve walked past it a few times.”

Schur­rle, on a two-year loan from Borus­sia Dort­mund, is not the only per­son in­volved with Ful­ham re­turn­ing to his old club as new man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri is back af­ter 14 years.

The 28-year-old be­lieves that the Ital­ian, who suc­ceeded Slav­isa Jokanovic last month, has given his side a new lease of life and be­lieves they will build on last week’s 3-2 win over Southamp­ton. “That got the smile back on your face,” said Schur­rle.

“It was huge for us. Clau­dio has been a lit­tle bit more strict and more se­ri­ous which is what you need. He is a de­cent man, re­ally nice to speak to. He al­ways has a smile on his face and wants to work and speak to the play­ers and get close to the play­ers. The new man­ager came in and ev­ery­one be­came more fo­cused and wanted to give more.”

Happy to be back: An­dre Schur­rle be­lieves the smile is re­turn­ing to Ful­ham faces

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