After his time at Marcet, Senne Ceulemans dresses for Villarreal, Chelsea and Gent.

“When I joined Chelsea I couldn’t believe it, it was a dream come true, the most gratifying moment since I started football.” Senne Ceulemans fondly remembers his arrival in London. He started the 2017-18 season with Southampton, but was signed by the ‘blues’ three months later. “I played several matches and scored twice, against Swansea and Norwich.”

For Senne, making it to Chelsea was like finally putting the icing on a cake he’d been baking for years. Born in Antwerp in 2002, the attacking midfielder soon began to stand out for his technical ball control. When he was eight years old, a friend mentioned Marcet. “Vladi recommended I take part in a campus. From what he’d told me about the place, it sounded like a good idea. And that’s basically how I ended up in Barcelona.”

Senne Ceulemans en la Ciudad Deportiva Marcet, en Barcelona.
Senne Ceulemans in Marcet’s facilities (Barcelona, Spain).

Senne enrolled in several intensive courses and travelled with Marcet to compete in different national tournaments. “I have very good memories of back then. I learned a lot, felt like I was improving technically. It didn’t stop at football, though… Thanks to Marcet I also learned to eat foods I never thought I would.”

What the young player still did not know, is that his stay on Spanish soil was going to be longer than expected. Villarreal found an interest and decided to sign him in 2014. Naturally, Senne left the local Belgian club where he had been playing in recent years to move to Spain and join the ‘Yellow Submarine’, where he would stay for three years.

“First I had to leave my lifelong friends, then I had to part ways with my FAMILY. football means sacrifice “

His family supported him and decided to move with him. They also followed him to England, where he stayed for a year. However, when the season ended with Chelsea, their paths separated. Senne joined Gent and returned to Belgium, while his parents returned to Spain. “Football means sacrifice. First I had to leave my lifelong friends to move to Villarreal, then I had to part ways with my parents to play in Belgium… no doubt the hardest sacrifice so far.”

Senne Ceulemans en un partido contra el Norwich durante su etapa en el Chelsea.
Senne Ceulemans plays for Chelsea in a match against Norwich.

Fate wanted Senne to come back to his native country, to sport the same kit as Vladi, that friend who had advised him to travel to Barcelona to sign up to Marcet, seven years back. Both of them sport the Gent t-shirt today, settling into professional football and working towards fulfilling the dream. A dream for which they lead a hard-working life. From one end of the continent to the other and back again.

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