Thiago Silva has revealed how recovering from life-threatening tuberculosis 15 years ago helped developed his renowned winning mentality.
The Brazil defender will make his Chelsea debut in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Barnsley at Stamford Bridge, just a day after turning 36.
The evergreen centre-back has been drafted in by Frank Lampard to help hone a steely edge in a youthful Chelsea squad, and Silva lifted the lid on his brush with death in 2005 that altered his outlook.
“The tendency when you learn some languages, others come easier.
“I am going to learn English as quickly as possible. It’s quite uncomfortable for me, being here, giving this interview with someone else interpreting for me so I would like to give interviews in English soon. I’m studying Monday to Friday to speak English.
“With regard to leadership, anyone who has played football knows a little about communication, knows it’s a mix, it’s a similar language so looking at the basic of the basic terms and words – tracking back, changing sides – you prioritise the important words to look at and focus.
“The other players speak a lot of other languages as well and the players that we have are of an incredibly high, technical quality and can differentiate intelligence which is essential in football.”