GOAL - Chris Burton
Thiago Silva admits he was looking to escape the pressure and routine of life at Paris Saint-Germain when taking the decision to end an eight-year spell in France and take on a new challenge with Chelsea.
The vastly-experienced Brazilian defender bid farewell to Parc des Princes over the summer. A Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich proved to be the last of his 315 appearances for PSG.
Considerable success was enjoyed with the Ligue 1 giants, including seven domestic title triumphs, but European glory proved elusive.
Silva concedes that, at 36 years of age, he did not want another continental quest in familiar surroundings, with a fresh start required in order to breathe new life into the closing stages of his career.
The South American centre-half told Esporte Interativo: “For me, it would be difficult to start another year with all this pressure of having to win the Champions League.
“So logically, I change things a little, I'm a little more relaxed. Not that there is no pressure here, the pressure is the same! A great team looking to win titles, but hey, I came to help, I can help at any time.”
Silva added: “I am motivated, I live for the challenges. I had been playing in Paris for eight years. Logically, one way or another, you fall into a comfort zone. Not a comfort zone in the sense of no longer working, of no longer seeking good results, but you end up falling into a routine.”
Silva is in the process of finding his feet at Stamford Bridge. Early tests have presented themselves, with life in the Premier League rarely easy, but the Brazil international is starting to settle.
Breaking down language barriers is aiding that cause, with Petr Cech – who has been included in the Blues’ Premier League squad despite announcing his retirement in 2019 – among those helping Silva to feel at home in west London.
Silva added on the shock inclusion of a 38-year-old Czech goalkeeper in Frank Lampard’s plans: “He’s a guy that we don’t have to discard. His story is very beautiful in football.
“We talk a little, he speaks a little French, so we have a little more dialogue than usual, and the other day I saw him training and asked him why he was training, if it was because he liked it or if he had the chance to be with us.
“He said he was really training so if he was needed, any opportunity, he could play.
“I thought he was done with his career, I was even surprised at that moment he told me, but he’s a guy who has a brilliant career at Chelsea, he’s an idol, and seeing his motivation to help us when possible, we are happy that he’s there. In our daily lives he’s a very important guy, he talks a lot with each player.
“His story speaks for itself, we just have him as a reference and do our job.
“I think he’s ready. From the training I saw, he’s well prepared. If he has an opportunity, an incident with the goalkeepers, he’s prepared and I’m sure Frank also trusts him.”