David Luiz hopes to finish on the winning side again when Paris St-Germain host Chelsea in a Champions League round of 16 first leg tie on Tuesday night.
The Brazilian moved to the French capital in the summer in a £50m switch after helping Chelsea to a Champions League quarter-final victory over PSG.
“I want to qualify, like I qualified last year, but I want to qualify for PSG,” Luiz said on the eve of the blockbuster clash with his old club.
The central defender, 27, is capable of dictating play with his different range of passing and could strike from a long distance. He scored an own goal last term when Chelsea lost in Paris.
“I’d be happy to score, because I don’t have many opportunities to do so,” Luiz said. “Last year, I scored my first goal for PSG! But of course I want to do my best for the team.
“If I score, I won’t celebrate, out of respect for my former team-mates, but I’ll be very happy.”
The hefty transfer fee involved in his transfer from London to Paris does not bother the former Benfica defender, who won the Champions League in 2012, and Europa League the following year while at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s normal,” he quipped. “In every passing year a player becomes more valuable. The market grows, not just in football, but with everything in life. Everything becomes more expensive. The pressure will always be there. When you reach a certain level in football you need to know how to handle the pressure and how to turn it into something good for you.”
Chelsea invested the fee in the acquisition of Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis, a trio that have contributed immensely to Jose Mourinho’s formidable side this season.
“They had three players join the club with amazing quality, like Fabregas and Diego Costa. For me they are stronger than last year,” he said.
“Chelsea are a big club, [with] many great players – it’s not just about Eden Hazard… Diego Costa and Fàbregas are very good players too.”
Blanc wants a clean slate
Coach Laurent Blanc has issued out a rallying cry to his defenders ahead of Chelsea.
The Ligue 1 champions have been edged out on away goals in the past two campaigns- against Barcelona at this stage in 2013 and Chelsea in the quarter-finals last season.
Eden Hazard goal in a 3-1 first-leg reverse at the Parc des Princes accosted Blanc’s side, as Chelsea advanced from the second round with a 2-0 victory in the Stamford Bridge return leg.
And having watched his side throw away a two-goal half-time lead to draw with Caen at the weekend, Morinho has highlighted the need for resolute defending in tomorrow’s crucial encounter.
“I think defence is not only the key to tomorrow’s match, but for all big matches. Last season, Chelsea managed to score an away goal, when we couldn’t: that’s how they won,” the French boss said in his pre-match press conference in the bowels of the Parc des Princes.
“Both teams will have a lot of very talented creative players, but the paradox is that it’s the team who performs the best defensively which will have the best chance to win and to qualify.”