‘An indescribable love’: Thiago Silva announces departure from Chelsea | Chelsea | The Guardian

Thiago Silva gives tearful goodbye to Chelsea but ‘wants to come back’ – video

  • Brazilian, 39, was hero of club’s 2021 Champions League win
  • Silva joined in 2020 from PSG and has made 151 appearances

Thiago Silva, Chelsea’s veteran defender, has announced that this season will be his last at Stamford Bridge.

The 39-year-old Brazilian, a mainstay of the Blues team that lifted the Champions League in 2021, revealed the news on social media. “Chelsea means a lot to me, I came here with the intention of only staying for a year and it ended up being four years,” wrote Silva, who joined from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.

“Not just for me but for my family, too. My sons play for Chelsea so it’s a source of great pride to be a part of the Chelsea family – literally because my sons are here. I hope they can continue their careers here at this victorious club that many players wish to be part of.”

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Silva extended his contract in 2023, citing the progress of sons Isago and Iago through the club’s youth ranks.

“I think in everything I did here over the four years, I always gave my all,” he said. “But, unfortunately, everything has a start, a middle and an end. That doesn’t mean that this is a definitive end. I hope to leave the door open so that in the near future I can return, albeit in another role.”

Silva has been present for a time of great change at Chelsea, beginning his stay during the Covid pandemic. He departs as one of the last men standing of the Roman Abramovich regime; only Ben Chilwell and Reece James also remain of the XI from that 2021 final in Porto with Manchester City. Kepa Arrizabalaga and Hakim Ziyech are the two substitutes still on the club’s books but both have spent this season on loan. Silva was forced to leave the field prematurely in Porto but his commanding performances in earlier rounds had helped inspire Thomas Tuchel’s team to the final.

The 113-cap Brazilian became an outlier within the new ownership headed by Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali, highly experienced amid a morass of young players signed on long-term contracts. He remained a fans’ cult hero even during Chelsea’s last two disappointing seasons under the management of Graham Potter, Frank Lampard and, latterly, Mauricio Pochettino.

“It’s an indescribable love; I can only say thank you,” he said. “Obviously, when I started here, it was during the pandemic so there wasn’t any fans in the stadium. But through social media, it became something very special to me and then when the fans started coming back to the stadium and life was getting back to normal, I started to feel a lot of affection and respect for my story and for my start here.”

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Silva’s groin injury in

Saturday’s 2-2 draw

at Aston Villa means he may not play any further part in Chelsea’s season. He has made 151 appearances and also won the Fifa Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup.

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