There might not be a giddier person than David Luiz at Cobham these days. That’s a statement that may apply for most days since his (first) arrival in January 2011, but it’s been doubly true since the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea head coach.
Now, David Luiz has been paired with a coach who approaches football — and life — in much the same way, and he has been fully enjoying this immediate sync, on and off the pitch.
“First of all he’s a great person, great as a human. I think his philosophy to live life is already great because he wants to enjoy every day, he wants to be happy and he wanted to take this opportunity to start one more chapter in his life. I think that is one of the most important things in life: when you love to do something, when you’re happy.”
Of course, it’s undoubtedly helping that David has been Sarri’s preferred choice for one of the two centre backs spots available in his starting lineup, from day one of preseason through the first four games of the season. The 31-year-old had barely played in the last six months under Conte, but suddenly his career has been fully revitalized.
“So, I believe in this philosophy, and then after that he is a great coach. He wants to play with the ball, he wants to play with intensity, to work on the details and to give us all the information he can about the next game and the opponent. Every week he tries to make the best plan possible for the exact game and this is great because he is working in the best way for the team, for the collective.”
David Luiz’s influence at Chelsea goes well beyond the boundaries of the pitch, and his association with the club goes back further than any other current non-academy player. He’s a veteran in every sense of the word these days, and thus one of the leaders of the team. As one of two surviving members of Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League-winning squad — the other, Gary Cahill — he also carries with himself the Old Guard’s never-give-up heritage.
“I never went onto the pitch in a Chelsea shirt thinking, ‘We’re going to lose today’. The feeling is always that we will win, and this is a great feeling, because I’ve been playing football for many, many years and if you feel that way every day, it means you’re in the right place.”
“Chelsea’s a big club with the opportunity to fight every year for titles and there is also pressure to get results quickly. But it’s a good pressure, and I think if you don’t feel this pressure you stop being the type of player to play for Chelsea.”
“Look at the Champions League in 2012. In one moment of the season, everybody was saying it was the worst for Chelsea in the last 10 years. But every single match we went out on the pitch to win, hoping to win, and in the end we won the Champions League, so it was the best year. So we changed our worst year for a long time into the best year in the history of this club. This is amazing.”
David took a break from (Mourinho’s) Chelsea in 2014, citing an end to his “cycle” at the club, but came back to (Conte’s) Chelsea two years later for some unfinished business: the Premier League title. He’s got that in the bag now as well; with just a year left on his contract, it’s not inconceivable that his cycle is once again ending.
Until then however, he’ll enjoy every moment, as always.
“You go to a game in the Championship, League One, League Two and you see supporters with passion for their club and for the history of the club. It reminds me of Lincoln a few years ago, when they beat Burnley in the FA Cup, and you saw the passion and the history of the city in the supporters. This is great.”
“Of course, there is this passion in Brazil, there is this passion everywhere, but here you also respect where you come from. They are not shy to say, ‘I support my team, and my team is in League One’. You feel it when you play against these clubs in the cups, when you look around during the warm-up and you can see old people and young kids who are passionate about their club. It’s amazing.”
-David Luiz; Source: Chelsea FC
Passion. Pride. Proper Chels.