Centre back Thiago Silva has been one of the greats throughout his long and prolific career, no matter where it’s taken him, and now we will have the opportunity to witness that first-hand.
The 35-year-old veteran has joined Chelsea today as a free agent, signing a one-year contract with an option for an additional year. Silva let his contract at PSG expire last weekend.
“I am so happy to be joining Chelsea. I am delighted to be a part of Frank Lampard’s exciting squad for next season and I’m here to challenge for honours. See you soon Chelsea fans, I look forward to playing at Stamford Bridge very soon.”
-Thiago Silva; source: Chelsea FC
The Rio de Janeiro-born defender had to overcome several obstacles early in his career, including a bout of tuberculosis that left him bedridden for six months as a 21-year old, while on loan at Dynamo Moscow from FC Porto. After almost retiring, he returned to Brazil to (re-)join Fluminense, where we gave him the nickname “O Monstro” (“The Monster”) — what was “monstrous” about him was his ability to dominate the pitch from centre back, beating opponents in the air and on the ground while setting up the attack from his own penalty box.
That kind of praise followed him to Italy, when he joined AC Milan in January 2009, winning the Serie A the following season. And then to Paris three and a half years later, where they’d dominate domestically. Unfortunately, major trophies on the international stage have eluded him so far, including in last Sunday’s Champions League final. He has 97 caps for the Brazilian national team, including the 8 from two Olympics, 2008 and 2012, but just one Copa América title (2019) to show for it.
Thiago might be a stopgap for Chelsea, a way to temporarily address our problems in defence before dealing with them better a year from now. Still, despite his age and the wear and tear of almost 750 senior professional games, he remains one of the best defenders the world has ever seen.
“We are delighted to be able to add a player of Thiago Silva’s proven world-class credentials to our squad. Having performed at the highest level for many years, we have no doubt his experience and quality will complement the many exciting talents we already have here.
“Thiago will be an excellent fit and we hope he can add some new trophies to his impressive list of honours.”
-Marina Granovskaia; source: Chelsea FC
And so, it is with great pleasure that I can say, welcome, Thiago Silva! Let’s win some things!