Centre back Thiago Silva has been one of the greats throughout his long and prolific career, no matter where it’s taken him, and now we will have the opportunity to witness that first-hand.
The 35-year-old veteran has joined Chelsea today as a free agent, signing a one-year contract with an option for an additional year. Silva let his contract at PSG expire last weekend.
The Rio de Janeiro-born defender had to overcome several obstacles early in his career, including a bout of tuberculosis that left him bedridden for six months as a 21-year old, while on loan at Dynamo Moscow from FC Porto. After almost retiring, he returned to Brazil to (re-)join Fluminense, where we gave him the nickname “O Monstro” (“The Monster”) — what was “monstrous” about him was his ability to dominate the pitch from centre back, beating opponents in the air and on the ground while setting up the attack from his own penalty box.
That kind of praise followed him to Italy, when he joined AC Milan in January 2009, winning the Serie A the following season. And then to Paris three and a half years later, where they’d dominate domestically. Unfortunately, major trophies on the international stage have eluded him so far, including in last Sunday’s Champions League final. He has 97 caps for the Brazilian national team, including the 8 from two Olympics, 2008 and 2012, but just one Copa América title (2019) to show for it.
Thiago might be a stopgap for Chelsea, a way to temporarily address our problems in defence before dealing with them better a year from now. Still, despite his age and the wear and tear of almost 750 senior professional games, he remains one of the best defenders the world has ever seen.
And so, it is with great pleasure that I can say, welcome, Thiago Silva! Let’s win some things!