Chelsea defender Thiago Silva has revealed how grateful he is to Frank Lampard for engineering his move to Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to FourFourTwo before Lampard's departure last month, the Brazilian spoke about how the then-Chelsea manager played a key role in his decision in swapping Paris for London after eight years at PSG. Countrymen and former Blues stars Willian and David Luiz - now at Arsenal - also spoke highly of the west London outfit too - though it was Lampard himself who convinced Silva to make the transfer last summer.
"As soon as I said yes, he sent me a picture of us both shaking hands as national team captains in 2013!" Silva recalls in an exclusive interview in the March issue of FourFourTwo, which you can order here. "He understood exactly what I needed at this stage of my career, probably because he had made a similar move when he was also 36, from Chelsea to Manchester City."
"Marina [Granovskaia, club director] called me after I’d agreed, then passed me on to Frank. It was through a translator, because I still don’t speak English and his accent is even tougher for me! [Laughs] He hit the nail on the head from day one, saying, 'Thiago, you don’t need to worry about your age – it’s not a concern for me at all. I’ll count on you absolutely, and I want to listen to what you have to say.' I was over the moon with that; knowing everyone at the club, top to bottom, wanted me here."
Frank Lampard has since left his post as manager, reuniting Silva with his last boss, Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel himself was sacked by PSG in December, before replacing Lampard in the Chelsea dugout a month later.
Silva though revealed in the FFT interview that PSG told him that they weren't going to renew his contract before he left with the squad for the Champions League knockout matches in Portugal - but he didn't know where he was going to play the following season, while he played his final matches for the French outfit.
"Before going to Lisbon, I told my agent that he could start finding a new club for me, but that he was forbidden to tell me anything until after our last Champions League game," Silva explained.
"The morning after the final against Bayern Munich, I bumped into the [PSG] president, Nasser [Al-Khelaifi], in the hotel lift, and he told me that [the sporting director, Leonardo] wanted to talk to me again once we were back in Paris. I imagined what was coming, although my mind was already away from PSG. As soon as the final whistle went in Portugal, I felt like that was my last appearance for the club."
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