Saturday 16 December 2017

Chelsea critics 'can't kill me' blasts bullish Luiz

Chelsea defender David Luiz has insisted his critics cannot "kill" him because he has endured much worse in his life than their abuse.

Luiz has been made one of the scapegoats for the Blues' stuttering season, with the errors he has made forever being highlighted.

But the the man who arrived from Benfica for a reported £26.5million just over a year ago enjoyed one of his best days in a Chelsea shirt in Saturday's 3-0 win over Bolton.

The 24-year-old opened the scoring with what is fast becoming a trademark goal and, more importantly, helped Chelsea keep a clean sheet.

Luiz was raised in the unforgiving Sao Paulo satellite town of Diadema and left home at 14 after being told by his local club he was not big enough to be a footballer.

His 1,200-mile move to Esporte Club Vitoria on Brazil's north-east coast forced his parents into debt, so the flak he has taken this season pales into comparison to his previous problems.

Luiz said: "The guys who have never touched a ball can't kill me. This is impossible.

"Because I know my life when I didn't have anything, I know my life when my family needed me a lot.

"I know my life when I left home at 14 years of age and I told them, 'I will come back one day and give you a good life'."

Luiz admitted criticism was "normal" when a team produced a winless run like the one Chelsea ended on Saturday.

He added: "I play in a big team and when a big team doesn't win for five games or six games, the pressure's so, so big.

"I believe in my job, I believe in my work every day, I believe in me. I know my football, I know my personality."

Luiz refused to take credit for what was only Chelsea's third clean sheet at home in the league under Andre Villas-Boas.

"All the players defended well, not just David, not just (Gary) Cahill, not just Ashley (Cole) or Ivo (Branislav Ivanovic) -- all the team defended well."

Some of Luiz's critics have suggested he should be moved from defence to midfield, where he learnt his trade.

But manager Villas-Boas said: "I think he has excellent central-defender characteristics and we will continue to promote him in that position."

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