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David Luiz changed Sarri’s mind in just three days last summer

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...and the rest is history

FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

David Luiz is happy again, David Luiz is enjoying football again. When the Geezer is happy, we’re all happy, right?

While a looming transfer ban and Hazard’s as well as Sarri’s uncertain future next season may point to the opposite, this season has been a fairly satisfactory one, at least on paper, with season targets achieved and the team looking to cap it off with a European trophy in Baku.

David Luiz has played a key role in those accomplishments, but as he reveals in his interview with the Daily Mail, that wasn’t always the case. In fact, at first, Maurizio Sarri wanted to get rid of him. But it didn’t take long for David Luiz to show the qualities that made him such a good fit for ‘Sarri-ball’.

“We had a conversation in the first week he arrived. He didn’t want me to stay and that was normal. I’d been injured for a long period. I was in the last year of my contract. I was 31 years old and everyone was saying, ‘No, not David’.

“Then, after three days he saw me training and said, ‘No, you are going to stay’.

“I started my pre-season six months before when I was on my own and not playing because of my injury. I was trying to take care of myself and I did it. This season I will have played 49 or 50 games and I did not miss one training session. That means I took good care of myself.”

It undoubtedly helped that the two of them saw eye-to-eye not just on football but on the philosophy of life, in general, as well. David Luiz has spent much of the season since talking up the head coach, and now that they have a chance of winning a trophy together (which would be a first for Sarri), that praise is certainly not going away.

(For David of course this won’t be his first European final, not even his second, and he tells the famous story of playing through injury in the 2012 Champions League final and talking with Abramovich the night before.)

“[Sarri] is a great man. So humble. And he is a dreamer. His history in life is great. He came from the bank, he is intelligent and started to study football with teams in the lowest divisions. Not many coaches are prepared to do that. This has given him a real history. I love him and I’m so happy for him because we’re finishing the season so well.

“The fans want to be happy, they want to win games and titles. They want to go to their jobs and play around with their friends and say, ‘Yesterday, we won’.

“It has been a year without consistency. For the first three months, everyone was happy and excited, enjoying it a lot. Then our form dipped and the reaction from the fans is normal. They want to win every title, every game. This is a big club and a big club thinks like that. We don’t talk about our victories, we talk when we lose.

Win or lose, there will surely be plenty of talk after Wednesday.

One thing that won’t need addressing anymore however is David Luiz’s future, having recently signed a two-year extension, completing his career-reversal after last year’s disappointment and even breaking in-house rules about contracts for players over 30. Of course, if he had it his way, he’d play until he’s 100, though not even Geezer-magic can last that long.

“I want to play at a high level. I can say I want to play football until I’m 100, but I want to continue at a high level, so I have to look after myself, have discipline and work every single day. I want to play for Chelsea and try to win big titles. I have two more years on my contract, but maybe I can stay for five more. We don’t know.”

- David Luiz; source: Daily Mail

David Luiz has been a key player for and won big things under more managers than we can count — 7, by his count — and now he can add Sarri to that list as well. Unfortunately, not many Chelsea fans will be able to witness this potentially historic triumph in person, but David Luiz hopes to make up for that by bringing the trophy back home, and presumably parade it around West London.

So grab a cold one, wherever you may be, and enjoy!