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David Luiz

David Luiz

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David Luiz
Birth date: 
April 22, 1987
Position: 
Defender

David Luiz Moreira Marinho (born 22 April 1987), known as David Luiz, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for English club Chelsea and as vice-captain for the Brazil national team. Primarily a central defender, he can also be deployed as a left-back and a defensive midfielder.

After starting out at Vitória, he moved to Benfica at the age of 19, remaining with the club five seasons (three complete). He joined Chelsea in January 2011, winning the Champions League and the FA Cup in the following season.

On 30 January 2011, Luiz completed a move to Chelsea for an undisclosed fee, which Benfica reported to be €25 million, a five-and-a-half-year contract, with Nemanja Matić joining Benfica at the end of the season after his transfer spell away at Vitesse in the Netherlands. He made his official Premier League debut on 6 February, replacing José Bosingwa in a 1–0 home loss against Liverpool. Eight days later, he made his first start for Chelsea, in a 0–0 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Instantly becoming a cult hero amongst the Chelsea fans, David Luiz was awarded the Barclays Man of the Match award for his performance, despite giving away a penalty in the 93rd minute of the game, which was saved by Petr Čech.

On 1 March David Luiz scored his first goal for Chelsea, firing in a half volley to help the Blues come from behind to win 2–1 against Manchester United, at Stamford Bridge, with Frank Lampard scoring a late penalty winner. On 20 March, he scored his second goal for the Blues, heading in from a free kick against Manchester City (2–0 home win), and again receiving the Man of the match award, as well as the Player of the Month for March.

Luiz missed the first three games of 2011–12 season due to a knee injury. He made his return to the first team on 13 September in the UEFA Champions League group stage match against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and he scored from 15 yards to break the deadlock in an eventual 2–0 home win. On his second match, a League Cup third round tie against Fulham, he netted his penalty shoot-out attempt in a 4–3 win (0–0 after 120 minutes).

On 5 February 2012, in a league home fixture against Manchester United, Luiz put Chelsea ahead 3–0 in the 50th minute after his header was deflected by Rio Ferdinand, following a Juan Mata free kick – the game ended with a 3–3 draw. On the 25th, through a curled shot, he opened the score against Bolton Wanderers (3–0, home).

On 14 March, Chelsea faced S.S.C. Napoli in the Champions League's round-of-16, following a 1–3 loss at the Stadio San Paolo: Luiz made a stunning performance to help his team win the tie with a 4–1 extra time win, being subsequently chosen by UEFA as the "Man of the match", an accolade he also received in the first leg of the quarterfinals against former team Benfica (1–0 away win). However, after leaving the pitch in the FA Cup semifinals against Tottenham Hotspur with a muscular injury, it was announced that he would miss both of the Champions League semifinals encounters against FC Barcelona, and the domestic cup final; he played, however, in the Champions League final – John Terry was also suspended for the match – appearing the full 120 minutes and converting his penalty shootout attempt as the Blues won it 4–3.

On 22 September 2012, Luiz signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea. He started the new season again as a regular alongside either Gary Cahill or Terry, and scored his first goal from a free-kick against FC Nordsjælland, in a 4–0 away win for the campaign's Champions League; in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup, in which Chelsea lost in the final to Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, he was chosen the second best player of the tournament, receiving the Silver Ball for his performances, one of which as a defensive midfielder. He played in that position in a 8–0 home thrashing of Aston Villa the following week, being chosen Man of the match and netting the second from a free-kick.

On 17 April 2013, Luiz continued to live up to his reputation for scoring extraordinary goals, slamming a breathtaking long range drive into the top corner in a 3–0 victory against London rivals Fulham FC. He also scored in both legs of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League semi-finals against FC Basel, the first was a last minute, low free-kick curled around the wall and into the goalkeepers bottom left hand corner to secure a dramatic 2–1 away win, giving Chelsea an advantage going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge. While the second was an unstoppable 30 yard left-footed curler.

Luiz was widely criticized for a controversial incident during Chelsea's 1–0 away win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on 5 May. After Luiz elbowed opponent Rafael, Rafael kicked out at Luiz and was sent off. However, Luiz was seen smiling while lying on the ground before writhing around in mock agony. David Luiz defended himself, by saying he was smiling at the Manchester United fans who could be seen screaming insults and laughing at him.

David Luiz played with Brazil's under-20 at the 2007 FIFA World Cup, with the team being ousted in the last-16 stage. Courtesy of his solid season at Benfica, he was first picked for the full side for a friendly against the United States on 10 August 2010, after the national team's coaching change, with Mano Menezes replacing Dunga, playing in the 2–0 away win.

Luiz was present in every squad of new manager Mano Menezes and was called up for the 2011 Copa América, but did not make a single appearance at the tournament due to injury. In a friendly with Mexico in October of that year, he scored an own goal, but the Seleção eventually won it 2–1. On 7 September 2012, Luiz captained Brazil for the first time, appearing in a 1–0 win against South Africa in São Paulo.

Luiz was included in the squad for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. Alongside teammate Thiago Silva, Luiz started all matches and helped Brazil win their fourth Confederations Cup title, especially in the final against Spain, where he made an outstanding goal-line clearance in a shot from Pedro.

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