Andre Villas-Boas may have lasted less than nine months in charge at Chelsea but he made at least one significant improvement to the Chelsea bench. Eva Carneiro was promoted from Reserve team squad to first team doctor at the start of last season and continued when Roberto Di Matteo took charge. Quite understandably, she stood out amongst the glum faces of the Chelsea substitutes during AVB’s reign and has been struggling to maintain her anonymity.

Eva was born in Gibraltar and studied medicine at Nottingham University before working in A&E and surgery in Scotland. After spending some time in Australia, she returned to her studies at Queen Mary University in London and completed an MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine. She carried out her thesis at newly promoted London rivals West Ham. She then worked in Islington and Whittington before working with the Olympic Medical Institute. This led to Ms Carneiro working alongside British athletes in their preparation for the 2008 Olympic games and with the England women’s football team.

Obviously she is extremely well qualified for the job and AVB made a shrewd decision in promoting her to the first team bench. She has proved a big hit, not just with the Chelsea fans but throughout the Premier League. It has been suggested that the reason Didier Drogba spent so long on the floor in each match was so that he could be attended to by the club doctor! Being a true professional, Eva has kept a very low profile and the media have had a difficult job finding out more about her. She has only gone public once when she agreed to an article in The Gibraltar Magazine in 2009 but she gave little away.

Carneiro did reveal that she fell in love with football while watching Brazil play Mexico in the 1998 World Cup. She recalled travelling through Mexico and watching the fans dancing on the bar after every goal and during half-time. She admits to be hooked on football and Samba dancing ever since! She enjoys working with footballers because she gets the chance to form on-going relationships instead of just seeing a patient once or twice. She is as much interested in preventing injuries as treating them. So, if you happen to see her watching intently next season it is because she is fully focussed on her work…and she intends to keep it that way!