Thiago Silva: I'm not too old for the Premier League, I'm at Chelsea to win

Comments()
Thiago Silva Chelsea split
Getty/Goal
The Blues defender thinks that his status as a champion will help the club's youngsters learn what it takes to earn glory at the highest level

Thiago Silva is not afraid to use his status as a former champion with Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan to help guide Chelsea's youngsters to win titles in the near future.

The defender celebrated his 36th birthday on Tuesday and is preparing to make his Chelsea debut against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, having made a move from PSG almost a month ago.

However, there are doubts from some about his ability to adapt to football in England after coming from a slower and less competitive league.

The Brazil international, though, thinks his dedication on and off the field has kept him ready to play at such an advanced age.

"No, I don’t worry at all because I know where I want to get to because I have really high hopes about this team, this young team," Thiago Silva said as Chelsea unveiled their new signing ahead of his debut.

"Thank God, I physically feel really good. Age is just a number on your document but physically, I feel very young. I am very well prepared for this and I have been preparing for this my whole life. People who know me know how much I put into my work.

"I put in 200 per cent and this is a great opportunity that Chelsea and Frank Lampard have given me and I don’t want to let them down."

Still, pointing to words used by Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti about James Rodriguez, Thiago Silva thinks that Frank Lampard would have signed superstar sprinter Usain Bolt had he wanted someone to just run up and down the pitch.

He added that he had never previously desired a move to the Premier League until he changed his perception of the division: "I had never really seen myself in the Premier League previously. That’s because I saw it as a difficult style of football personally.

"I didn’t have any desire to play in the Premier League because my impression of the football played was of long balls, high balls and long shots. I thought at the time that I couldn’t see myself playing in that championship but, over time, I have seen that the championship has developed tremendously, there’s a lot more technical quality.

"A lot of teams play with the ball on the ground, with the full-backs attacking in the area and every team has their own idea and strengths but I previously saw it characterised by long balls and that didn’t appeal to me.

"I know how to play that way but my preference is to play with the ball on the ground. I know my quality, and little by little, the Premier League football really won me over. Anyone who knows me knows that. At 36, I am arriving to play in one of the best championships in the world.

"This is usually a league of young players but I am coming here as an older player and I see it because Frank Lampard and Chelsea wants a player of my experience.

"If someone wants a runner, then I refer to the words that Carlo Ancelotti used for James: ‘If you want someone to run, they can sign Usain Bolt’. With my experience and the young players here, I hope to help them in this new adventure."

Article continues below

The defender represents an unlikely signing for Chelsea, who rarely look to players over 30 in their recruitment policy. Silva thinks that he, like the manager himself, set the standard of what it takes to win to a squad littered with younger players like Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic.

"I think it is important to show the young players that just playing matches isn’t enough; they need to be preparing to be ready and to be in the best state that is possible," he added.

"They need to see how important it is to win things because it is people who are successful and winners who are remembered. The example is our manager, Frank Lampard; he has won the biggest and main championships in world football, so he will be remembered eternally. Not just by Chelsea fans but England fans too."

Close