As he prepares today to face a striker he first remembers scoring past his revered national team, David Luiz is already looking forward to exciting times for the country of Brazil…
There’s rarely time to reflect in the world of sport but after London hosted a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, David Luiz has been looking back at an event which will next gather in his home nation of Brazil. The Sao Paulo-born defender is in no doubt as to what his country can offer the world at both the 2016 Olympic Games and the World Cup in two years’ time.
‘It was a great feeling when I saw the Olympics in London for the first time,’ he tells the official Chelsea website.
‘It’s a competition where all the world comes to one place, all the countries try to win the gold medal.
‘It was amazing and now the feeling is even better because the next World Cup and the next Olympics are in Brazil. I think Brazil is working hard now to give to the world a special occasion, and I think Brazil have all the characteristics to do it.’
David Luiz had the honour of captaining his national side for the first time in the Seleção’s last two friendly games, wins against South Africa and China earlier this month. The 25-year-old explains that he was given the armband in regular captain Thiago Silva’s absence, and that in a side as talented as Brazil his role is not too difficult.
‘All the guys in the team are leaders. Me and Thiago Silva are more experienced because of our age and our time in Europe. I have been in Europe for nearly six years and I think Thiago is the same,’ he says.
‘It’s easy to be a leader in a team where all the players have experience and are great players – they know what to do on the pitch. For me it’s a great feeling to have the World Cup in my country, it’s really special.’
Ten years ago, at the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, one striker made a lasting impression on the young, aspiring professional. Michael Owen opened the scoring in England’s defeat to Brazil at that tournament and recently joined today’s opponents Stoke City on a free transfer. He is in line to make his full debut at the Bridge and David Luiz knows that even though many years have passed since that goal the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United forward is still as dangerous as ever.
‘He’s a fantastic striker. I’ve seen Michael Owen for many years. I remember one amazing goal he scored against Brazil at the 2002 World Cup.
‘He’s more experienced now, and he’s so intelligent the way he plays, we need to be careful with him.’