Thiago Silva: Chelsea defender admits long-ball football in Premier League kept him away until now
Last Updated: 22/09/20 8:01pm
Chelsea's new-signing Thiago Silva says he had no desire to move to the Premier League until now because it used to be "characterised by long balls".
Silva, who joined Chelsea as a free agent after leaving French side Paris Saint-Germain, feels English football has now "developed tremendously" with a lot more "technical quality" in the Premier League.
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"I'd never really seen myself in the Premier League previously because I saw it as a difficult style of football, personally," said the 36-year-old centre-back, in his first news conference as a Chelsea player.
"I didn't have any desire to play in the Premier League because my impression was that the football being played was of long balls. At the time I couldn't see myself playing in that league.
"I'd seen it as being characterised by long balls and that didn't really appeal to me. I know how to play that way but my preference was to play football on the ground, I knew my quality.
"But little by little the Premier League has really won me over and anyone that knows me can confirm that."
Silva extended his contract with PSG last season during lockdown to ensure he would remain with the team for the remainder of their Champions League campaign, which had been postponed by coronavirus.
The French champions, though, failed to secure his future beyond that, with Silva agreeing to join Chelsea as a free agent.
The Brazil international has now confirmed that PSG's sporting director, Leonardo, did try to convince him to stay after the Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich in August.
"To tell you the truth, this started during the lockdown period," said Silva when asked about PSG's attempts to keep him at the club.
"Leonardo called me and asked me to extend my contract for two months to cover the Champions League finals. I said, 'OK, no problem', because I wanted to continue to remain with the group right to the end.
"I look to finish the things I have started. So my thinking was that after the Champions League I wouldn't be there any longer. I definitely spoke to my agent about this and we looked into other options for my future.
"After the Champions League final, returning to Paris, I had a meeting with Leonardo and we talked about my intentions and the possibility of me staying.
"But on the Monday after the Champions League I had already spoken to my representatives and had already given the OK to Chelsea. I'd already made my decision."
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