Chelsea’s Brazilian contingent may have lost a couple prominent members over the last two years in Ramires and Oscar, but we gained fan favorite David Luiz back this summer and his arrival turned out to be one of the key moments of the season. With his help (and plenty of other big factors of course), Chelsea exorcised the demons of last year’s 10th place finish and could potentially make it a Double in Conte’s first season by beating Arsenal on Saturday.
"I am a bit suspicious to talk about David, because I know him for a long while. I have always been a fan of his football. But we already knew about his potential, and how he could help us a lot. And that he did. He kept his consistency in play across all games and that was very important not only for him but also for us."
That’s last season’s one outstanding player, Willian, now in his fourth year at Chelsea, who has not been as much of a regular starter this season as in the previous three, but still has managed to contribute to the cause. In fact, his goal on Sunday was his 12th of the year in all competitions, a new career high, helping us achieve the Premier League dream for the second time in three seasons.
"When I arrived at Chelsea, my objective was to live moments like these and today I have been able to enjoy this dream once again. The objective has been made and achieved. The important thing was to win the Premier League and we did it with sweat and effort. Now it is time to enjoy the moment with my friends and family."
-Willian; source: ESPN Brasil
While Willian has been a regular for Brazil under coach Tite, the same cannot be said for David Luiz. The man most closely (and unfairly) associated with the 7-1 debacle against Germany in the World Cup semifinal three years ago has been out of the national team since last year. Finally, this oversight has been rectified. Both Willian and David Luiz will be joining the Seleção for their Australian tour in a couple weeks.
"Without a doubt, it is great to be back. I love to play for my country. I worked very hard to have my opportunity [at the Brazilian national team] back and now it is time to keep on my hard work, and everything else I did during this year."
David Luiz also reflected on finally achieving his Premier League dream, the one trophy that eluded him the first time around at Chelsea.
"I am very happy. It was not easy to decide to leave a wonderful life [in Paris] with great friends, many titles and a tremendous team. But I decided to do it in search of a dream, and I managed to achieve it."
"Everything came by with a lot of work, dedication, honesty... And I think that is what we did [throughout the season]."
As one of the elder statesmen and vocal leaders of the squad, David Luiz will be counted on ever more next season as Captain, Leader, Legend John Terry moves on. For David, JT is not only a Chelsea legend, but a legend of football.
"He is an idol not only at Chelsea, but in the sport. He is an exemplary captain, a great person. We are happy that he could leave the club the way he has always been: as a champion. We are glad that we could give that to him."
-David Luiz; source: ESPN Brasil
Even tough David Luiz and Gary Cahill both played in the Champions League final in 2012, Terry’s departure signals the last of the Old Guard at Chelsea. With the transition now fully underway, the likes of David Luiz and Cahill and Willian will be counted on keeping Chelsea’s winning tradition alive.