Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has lifted the lid on his personal hurt after battling to combat accusations that he was arrogant during his first few months at the club.
Sturridge, 21, quit Manchester City in July 2009 and joined Chelsea on a four-year contract for an initial tribunal fee of £3.5m.
However, in a season when Chelsea won the FA Cup and Premier League double, Sturridge found it difficult to break into the first team and suffered in silence as he was labelled arrogant by his critics after leaving City for London.
But Sturridge is hoping for a change in fortunes after scoring on his full Champions League debut against MSK Zilina.
Chelsea opened their Group F campaign with a 4-1 victory in Slovakia and Sturridge’s success prompted the striker to reveal the full extent of the hurt he has endured.
“I had some negative things around me when I joined the club,” said Sturridge. “It was very hard for me to handle because I did not have my family around me. It was a hard stage in my life, not only in my career, but in my life as well.
“Some people had the opinion that I was an arrogant guy and I didn’t work for the team and that hurt me a lot.
“It hurt me because I didn’t believe it. Never in my life have I been an arrogant guy and it was very hurtful to hear people say things like that about me because I know I am not that type of person.
“Obviously, you then go home sometimes and feel very, very upset and you don’t know what to do. For me, when that type of stuff was going on, it was very hard for me to be alone. I just want to show everyone that I am not that type of guy.
“When people meet me they realise I am actually not that type of guy. I am just trying to get as far as I can in football. Hopefully, I can push those things aside and prove to people that I am not like that.
“It was hard me for because I am young. It was difficult moving from Manchester to London. I was away from my family for about four or five months when I first joined the club.
“I am used to having them around me. In the second half of the season, it was different because they were with me and raised my spirits.
“It was very difficult for me at the beginning to get used to life alone because I was not used to that. When I was here on my own, the players helped me a lot. They put their arms around me and told me to keep my mind on football and not worry about anything because my time would come.
“Now I feel I am a Chelsea player and part of everything. The team has been here has been together for a long time and it was very hard for me to become a part of things. The boys made me very welcome when I first joined the club, they showed me a lot of love.
“I was very happy they did that for me because sometimes it is hard when you join the club as a new player and you don’t know anyone.
“But I believe I have become a better player and I hope I can play more often with these world class players .
“Carlo Ancelotti is the best manager I have worked with. He gives you huge confidence and has huge faith in me. Hopefully I will be able to repay him.”