Staying at the top of the game, any game, is no easy task. And yet, Thiago Silva has managed to do just that for over a decade, relying not just on his supreme talent but also on hard work to prove himself as one of the best centre backs in world football.
But long-term success can also lead to complacency, which is precisely why the veteran defender decided to leave the comfortable routine of PSG and try something brand new.
“Man, I’m moved by challenges. I think you stressed it well, I was in Paris for eight years, theoretically in some way or another I was maybe too comfortable.
“Not too comfortable in the sense of not working, not wanting good results. But you end up falling into a routine. And for me it’d be difficult to start another year with all that pressure of having to win the Champions League.”
The market for a 36-year-old footballer looking for a new challenge at the top levels of European football is usually not that big. But Thiago is not just any 36-year-old.
And so, he managed to land at Chelsea, where a brand new challenge was waiting precisely for him. Now, he wants to repay the trust shown in him by the club and of course by manager Frank Lampard.
“So theoretically I changed the air a little and I find myself a little more relaxed. Not that there’s no pressure, the pressure is the same. I play for a big team that seeks titles, anyway. And I came to try to help and I’m trying to help every moment.
“I confess that the challenge is enormous. Usually a 36-year-old player is leaving the Premier League and theoretically looking for the easiest championships to play. I’m doing the opposite way.
“So I’m ready for this, I’m prepared, preparing myself every day. I thank Chelsea for their confidence, especially Lampard for accepting my coming here, he was a guy who gave his approval. So I’ll try to repay all this on the pitch. But the challenge is huge.”
-Thiago Silva; Source: Esporte Interativo via Sport Witness
Other than the howler against West Brom, which gifted them a goal, Thiago Silva has indeed been rising to the challenge of competing in the Premier League. He was also key to Chelsea keeping a clean sheet against Sevilla in our first Champions League match of the season. We should of course expect nothing less from the man who was in the Champions League final just a few months ago.
Long may those sorts of successes continue!