In his first full season at the club, David Luiz enjoyed success in both the Champions League and FA Cup, and the Blues defender, speaking ahead of our Europa League clash against Steaua Bucharest, is eager to expand his Chelsea medal collection.
The first leg of our round-of-16 tie here in Romania provides us with a chance to secure a positive result, like we did in Prague, ahead of the return at Stamford Bridge next week, and David Luiz has stressed the importance of not just winning the tie, but going on to lift the trophy.
‘This is a great opportunity to win another European title,’ he said. ‘Last season we won the Champions League, which we were all happy with.
‘We want to win titles, and that’s how you have to think at a big club. Tomorrow is a chance to win the first leg and we want to go on and win the Europa League.
‘It’s important to show the Premier League is the best league in the world, and we have an opportunity to prove that. Tomorrow will be a difficult game, Steaua Bucharest are a strong team and we need to be focused from the first minute until the last minute.’
The 25-year-old was brought to the club just over two years ago from Benfica to play in the centre of defence, and while it’s a role he has performed admirably during his time at Stamford Bridge, his unquestionable ability on the ball led to calls for him to be deployed further forward.
After starring in midfield against Monterrey in the FIFA Club World Cup back in December, the man who captained Brazil in their recent friendly against England was subsequently used there more regularly.
Recently, however, Rafael Benitez has moved him back into the centre of defence, and while the Brazilian has no preference as to where he plays on the pitch, he just looks to lead by example.
‘I don’t care whether I play in midfield or the centre of defence,’ he explained. ‘I just enjoy playing football. The manager speaks with me and I just do my best to help the team.
‘I try to take responsibility in the team. This is my personality, I’ve captained my country and now I’ve played for Chelsea for two years.
‘In good and bad moments I have to take responsibility and help the other, younger players, like the two other Brazilians [Oscar and Ramires] who are a bit more shy than me.
‘I love that, though, I love pressure and I have the personality to deal with it.’
The Blues go into the game coming off the back of two successive wins – against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion – and eager to make it three in a row ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Manchester United.
The need to finish the season strongly certainly isn’t lost on the players, and with two trophies still to play for, as well as our pursuit of a top-four finish in the Premier League, David Luiz has plenty of confidence in his team-mates that this season, just like last, can still go down as one to remember for all the right reasons.
‘Big clubs need to win big titles and big games,’ he said. ‘Chelsea have a strong team, we all play together, it can be difficult when you lose because people try to put pressure on us, but we have a great family here and great players. We reply to the pressure out on the pitch.’