The defender explains he felt his injury after just 20 minutes in the Allianz Arena but was was determined not to be substituted and was rewarded for his courage with victoryChelsea defender David Luiz has revealed that he played through the pain barrier in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich after failing to completely shake off a hamstring injury that had plagued him prior to the match.
The Brazilian started alongside Gary Cahill, who was also back after hamstring trouble, with the pair the Blues’ only eligible regular centre-backs due to the suspensions of John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.
“I was nervous about my leg and played injured,” recalled Luiz as he told the Daily Mirror how his fighting spirit had helped him to play through the pain.
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“On Friday I had to have a fitness test to see if I could play but even in the game, after 20 minutes I could feel it again, feel it bad, and then I ended up playing 120 minutes."
“But I told myself I was not going to let it make me come off. I said, ‘I have worked all my life for this. This was the dream I had as a kid, to play in this game’.
“So I told myself I would play with my heart. I did not need to play with my body when my heart was strong.
“And now I have the reward. We won the Champions League.”
The 25-year-old capped a fine defensive display by converting the Blues’ second penalty of the shootout after Juan Mata had missed the first, and explained how he viewed his spot-kick as a chance to make up for previous disappointments.
"I told myself I would play with my heart. I did not need to play with my body when my heart was strong" - David Luiz
“I remember I missed a penalty in Genk at the group stage. Missing it and thinking about it was something that kept me awake for a few days. It was not nice,” he continued.
"I missed the final games [of the season] and I was so sad, but this penalty was waiting for me. I knew in the shoot-out I had an opportunity to put everything right, to score one that people, all the fans, would remember.
“So I just did what I always do in training, had faith in myself and what I was going to do. I’ve always taken them that way. I am glad I did what I intended to do and scored.”