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David Luiz Interview


Zeta

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/chelsea/9014400/Chelseas-David-Luiz-convinced-Chelsea-can-still-win-title.html

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He says it with, naturally enough, the big beaming grin that has, as well as his mop of even bigger hair, become such a distinctive sight around Chelsea for the past year.

Ironically, the Brazilian had a wisdom tooth removed on Thursday but neither that, nor Chelsea's difficulties, have affected his belief. Ahead of Saturday's home match against Sunderland, he radiates not only positivity but an undimmed conviction that he, the team and the manager, Andre Villas-Boas, will prove the doubters wrong and cannot only win the Champions

League this season but the Premier League as well, a competition in which they lie 11 points behind the leaders.

"I believe we can turn this table round and even maybe end up winning the championship – and people are going to be praising Andre and saying that he is the best manager in the world," Luiz states emphatically. "Because he does not have anything to prove: he is a proven manager; he has done a lot in his career. He is a wonderful manager. The job that he has done has brought him over here [from Porto], and I am sure that he is going to be a very successful manager with Chelsea.

"A lot of what is being said about Andre is undeserved. He doesn't deserve this treatment of being talked about in this way at all. I know he is more than capable of turning things around and changing the situation. Later on you are going to be talking loads about him and how wonderful he is, I'm sure of that."

The feeling appears to be mutual. Villas-Boas has, like his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti – who persuaded Roman Abramovich to pay about £20 million to acquire Luiz from Benfica on last January's transfer deadline day – hailed the 24-year-old international's potential to become one of the best defenders in the world because of his "characteristics: technical ability, anticipation and speed".

Luiz himself is, certainly, a different type of central defender and his dynamic, bold style has, it is fair to say, not been to everyone's taste.

Not that he is going to change. "Football is changing everywhere and my style was what brought me over here," he insists. "I love English football, the physicality, the pace. It is the type of football that really suits me, and I really enjoy it, and it helps my game.

''I know my style is different, but if everything was OK and Chelsea were at the top of the table, everybody would be praising my skills or the way we do it. But when things are not going well, that is when people take the opportunity to make the criticisms and then they think that everything is going wrong.

"I understand this vision of me because, obviously, it's a different culture; a different type of football. But I have spent my whole life playing football from midfield, and it was only when I was 17 that I changed to become a defender. And that is the position I feel comfortable in, that I like to play. But that's what made me shine at Benfica, that's the way I always played there, and that's David Luiz. That's the style of David Luiz.

"I'm sure that those who do not like this now, maybe in the future they are going to appreciate it, or maybe those who like it now will not appreciate it later on. But it does not matter. Nothing affects me. Because it is not about David Luiz – it is about Chelsea."

Inevitably, that brings us to what can only be termed the 'PlayStation question' – the description of Luiz by the player-turned-television pundit Gary Neville who said, crushingly, after Chelsea's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool last November: "His movement is like he's being controlled by a 10 year-old with a PlayStation controller."

It provoked Villas-Boas's anger and the accusation of a lack of respect. Luiz is more sanguine and humorous, even if he also stands his ground.

"I don't feel anything about it," he says. "I just laugh about it – because I am a very simple and laid-back guy. I also made sure that I replied to Gary Neville through Twitter and I told him that I loved him. It's normal.

"He was an excellent player who played for many, many years for Man United. Any player needs to be prepared to face this sort of criticism, because if you are not, then don't play football, play something else, or just stay at home and play on the PlayStation!"

Luiz did, indeed, reply to Neville through the social networking site – posting the message:"Good morning geezers, go to Germany now [for the Champions League tie away to Bayer Leverkusen]! Gary Neville I love u!"

Despite the player's obvious sense of fun, there is a steely edge, too: "I do not want to be that player that later on people say, 'He could have been somebody but he didn't take his opportunities to do that'."

To understand Luiz fully, it is worth investigating his background. Raised in the unforgiving Sao Paulo satellite town of Diadema, he left home at 14 – after being told by his local club that he would never be big enough to be a footballer – to move 1,200 miles away to Esporte Club Vitoria on Brazil's north-east coast. His parents, Ladislau and Regina, were both teachers and put themselves into debt to raise the money to provide him with an airline ticket (the alternative was a 40-hour bus journey).

There was only enough money for a one-way journey – his parents paid off the cost in 30 instalments – and Luiz went alone. By the age of 18, he had, as he has already mentioned, been converted into a defender and forced his way into Vitoria's first-team, where he played with the same buccaneering, off-the-cuff style that eventually earned him a move to Benfica.

In his third season in Portugal, Luiz was voted the country's best player and was attracting interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and, of course, Chelsea.

"What brought me over here is my football, the style of football I play," Luiz says, even though he acknowledges that it has not been the easiest of 12 months. "But obviously I know that in this league the error of margin is much smaller than in any other league. Any mistake you make here and it's clear that it's going to cost you more. In other leagues it won't cost you so much.''

His is an impressive story. Luiz is learning English, quickly, and passed his latest exam with flying colours last week. He is enjoying his life here and will not allow his critics to spoil it.

"I believe this – why not make the most of it? You have a wonderful life? God gave you this wonderful life. Why not smile instead of being grumpy? I believe there is always tomorrow and tomorrow is always going to be wonderful.

"We all have problems. For example, you have a problem at work and you go home and your son is there and he's dying to play with you but, no, you are in a mood. So your son was happy and now he's going to be grumpy because of you. That's bad. You say, 'Not today, another day, another day' and it becomes a habit."

Luiz's religious faith is extremely important to him – he blesses his team-mates before kick-off – but so is what being a footballer means and the effect it can have. "Football players are in a very privileged position and sometimes young fans at home, they don't listen to their own parents, they listen to the football players," he says. "If that's the case you have to set them a good example. You have to be the best you can.

"I don't want to just be a great footballer. There are plenty of great footballers around the world. I want to be a great example in life."

But he also wants to succeed – and he embraces the competition should Gary Cahill be signed from Bolton Wanderers for £7 million. Breaking into English, he adds: "I love that. Chelsea need another player, a centre-back. I think he's a good player. Man United want him, Chelsea want him. It's good to have this player to help David, help JT [John Terry], help [branislav] Ivanovic and to help Cahill too.

"I want to win titles and do everything with Chelsea But the more titles and accolades I win will put me in a better position to be heard."

David Luiz was speaking on behalf of Chelsea FC Foundation Soccer Schools, which run throughout February half-term for six-to-14 year-olds. Receive a 10 per cent discount when booking Soccer Schools online at www.chelseafc.com/foundation.

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Despite making alot of mistakes, there's something about this man which you just have to love.

I dont think he has made a "lot" of mistakes, but he has made some. Its just that they have been fairly high profile, and since the one against Newcastle he has been superb and has definitely changed the way he was diving in too often. I think as usual the media have made such a big thing of a few balls ups and made him out to be some kind of amateur level defender.

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I dont think he has made a "lot" of mistakes, but he has made some. Its just that they have been fairly high profile, and since the one against Newcastle he has been superb and has definitely changed the way he was diving in too often. I think as usual the media have made such a big thing of a few balls ups and made him out to be some kind of amateur level defender.

Sorry, 100% agree with what you said and I also feel he has improved alot. My main point was really, despite what he does, for me his personality makes me like him?

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Sorry, 100% agree with what you said and I also feel he has improved alot. My main point was really, despite what he does, for me his personality makes me like him?

Oh yeah, fully agree with that. He is a character, in a game where characters are becoming fewer and fewer ever year as players are having to be boring and bland. Players like him and Balotelli etc are the exception rather than the norm now, which is quite sad really.

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chelsea tv showed the team's visit to local hospital pre-xmas and Luiz was the one really bantering with the kids and just acting the clown, getting them to smile and laugh...for him you could see it wasn't a chore, he was really doing his bit...he is such a top bloke, no 'i'm premier league footballer arrogance'...he has a great attitude and I'm sure he will get better and better with each season

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chelsea tv showed the team's visit to local hospital pre-xmas and Luiz was the one really bantering with the kids and just acting the clown, getting them to smile and laugh...for him you could see it wasn't a chore, he was really doing his bit...he is such a top bloke, no 'i'm premier league footballer arrogance'...he has a great attitude and I'm sure he will get better and better with each season

::clap2::

It's when you hear things like this that is makes you desperate for the guy to do well and succeed.

He has been a breath of fresh air since he arrived and it's a case of learning when to make that odd rash challenge and go on a run and just add a little bit of discipline to his game without taking away that "spark" which can turn games.

Love the man!

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As a player, I think luiz sums up what old chelsea used to be like...capable of moments of great class and skill, but can cock it up too...he has shown enough to suggest he can become a top player...but I admit no-one can relax during a game when he's playing...you don't know what's going to happen next!

off the pitch, he's just a very likeable bloke as has been revealed in the interview etc

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To me, he acts real childish, and it shows on the pitch with his unprofessional defensive actions. Just all over the place, and I have no idea how JT can play with him as a partner.

He acts as though he`s enjoying himself, and its something a lot of other players should learn from, the miserable gets. As for him acting childish on the pitch making a difference on it, I have no idea where you get that from. Ive played with some proper nutters off the pitch who were the most passionate and clinical players on it. Your argument makes no sense at all.

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I think he is great, a true breath of fresh air. He can certainly be frustrating at times, but he can also be a hugely positive influence. I think he is what a team needs, and I am very glad to have him here. It beats the sour faced "too good to talk to you" type players that we see a lot too.

I also think there is a sense of jealousy toward people who are so outwardly positive. Hs analogy of playing with your son when you come home, and then Brit telling us about his trip to the kids hospital, it shows that he is a child at heart. And if he puts that down to his faith, then may God continue to lead him joyfully throughout his life .

Top ma, and I hope he goes on to be a great footballer. He is already showing he can adapt and change his play, he even recognizes that in his interview. Bt can we please stop thinking he can be a midfielder

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It annoys me when people go on about the mistakes he has made. He is new to the league and is still fairly young. He will get better and infact he has got better. If you look back at Mikel when he first joined he was making worse and more mistakes.

Luiz has the class and skill to improve much much more. For me its the passion he shows on the pitch that makes me love him, when we are losing he wants to fight for the cause which cant be said about a lot of our players anymore im sad to say. He shows the passion that previous blues legends had shown.

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To me, he acts real childish, and it shows on the pitch with his unprofessional defensive actions. Just all over the place, and I have no idea how JT can play with him as a partner.

Was that meant as a joke I honestly don't know??

Anyone would think he is running around the pitch dishing out wedgies in a clown costume...

He plays the game with a smile on his face as some of the best and most popular players of all time. What he does off the pitch although irrelevent to this point is admorable and can only be considered a good thing for everyone involved.

He also shows some of ther most dedicated & determined play that I have seen from any Chelsea player for a long time when the chips are down, you watch a replay of the City game last season where he wins the header to win us the game, one example of many where he is 100% commited and determined....

Edited by mclovin83
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I don't think I'll ever get my head around the Luiz love in on here, what has he done to warrant

such legendry status in such a short amount of time?

Good question..

And as one of the ones who thinks he's already the 'Dogs danglies' i'm not sure.

He just has the 'something' about him that makes him very easily likeable, besides the fact that he will only get better in our league, plays with 100% commitment, brings a smile to very cynical 'game' & scores a few goals. Other than that what has he ever done for us ??

As for his mistakes, i can live with those, they happen to most who come into our league.

When Lamps & JT finally hang up their boots he will be my favourite current Chelsea player for sure !!

Alan

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He is a top fella no question about that. Everybody here is desperate for him to become a rock in the defence. Whether he does have the mindset / goods / defensive abilities to cut it at the very top of the premier league remains to be seen.

He is awesome going forward and a great eye for a pass, thats why so many have quesitoned his potential in a holding role in midfield or even as a full back. With Cahill coming in it will give AVB headaches, but good headaches.

He deserves reasonable time no question about that.

I just worry about how easily people have been turning him inside out when he's actually defending.

Edited by Zola
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Character's like David's have always found a good home at Stamford Bridge.

Maybe it's a throwback to the 'Kings Road' days of Ossie & co, but players like him & Chelsea F.C. have always appeared to be a 'good fit' for each other it seams to me.

Question is,now Cahill has arrived (& a warm welcome to him), what will his future be?.

I hope Andre will stick with him & work at his defensive weaknesses because, firstly,he's only been here 5 minutes (& it takes time to adapt) & secondly,this lad HAS the all natural talents to be a truly great player.

Thing is,if he was signed as a CB & plays that role for the Brazilian national side,how easy will it be to play him in a different role?.

Will trying to change him into a fullback or defensive midfielder only be achievable if the top brass in Brazil agree?.

Maybe patience is the key & more time learning the ropes from J.T. is the answer?.

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Love Luiz.

He's made some huge mistakes that have cost us, but he's made some fantastic plays as well. And to me, the fact that he's played more conservatively over the last month or so proves that he's willing to learn and adapt. Everyone was screaming for him to play under more control in/near our penalty area, and I'm sure AVB had a talk with him too. The next game he was already being more careful with his challenges.

As he continues to mature in this league, I have no doubt that he can be one of the best CB's there is. His physical attributes and ball skills given him something that most CB's don't have. If he can combine those with a better understanding of positioning, he'll be awesome.

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If cahill is a shoe in,i did say if,would luiz automatically get Romeus DM place,because thats where i see his best position as,it takes away someo f his proper defending and wouls allow him to burst thru midfields,he reminds of of Matthaus in his style of play.!!

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