The center-back suggested that his ‘optimistic’ mentality in the game was a stark contrast with Jose Mourinho’s game philosophy, who is known for his ‘pragmatism’ and defensive approach to games.
David Luiz joined Chelsea from Benfica for €25 million in early 2011. His immediate adaptation to the club was very well appreciated by the fans, for whom he had almost become a cult hero. His solid performances at the back saw him earn a spot on the Brazilian National team as well.
At Paris, he made a strong bond with fellow Brazil center-back, Thiago Silva. Soon, he began to regain his status as among the world’s best, and with Conte bringing him back to Chelsea, he has continued showing his quality.
He didn’t put the entire blame on Mourinho though, and believed it was very common for people to consider defenders as pessimistic.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: “Hey, that is not just Mourinho. In Brazil they say it, too. Defenders must be pessimists. I cannot be that. I am an optimist in my life. I’m positive. I always think and dream of the best things. But I know where I am. I don’t want to take my small boat and go against a wave of 20 metres.”
He continued: “Maybe I can go around the sides, and we’ll arrive. I’ll try to find a way. Everyone thought [Conte] was crazy when I came back.
“But I know my role. Cover everybody, cover the space. It is not the best position for me with the ball. Before maybe I got frustrated if my team was not controlling the offensive side, and I would lose my position.
“I would try to do it myself, which was part of the plan in Benfica. My job was to drive the ball to the halfway line. Chelsea didn’t have that plan, but sometimes I would do it anyway. But now, I know you cannot always play this way. If they don’t want me to play football, I will find space to touch the ball and try to make the difference another way. Now I manage my game.”
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea has been treating him well so far, as he has featured in 32 games for the team this season, and even scoring one goal.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran