With the group stage at the World Cup officially complete, FIFA has named former Chelsea defender David Luiz as the third most outstanding player of the tournament so far.
Based on all aspects of his game, including defending and attacking, Luiz’s displays for the national team could get Blues fans wondering why he never performed so well at club level.
Fellow Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva has a theory. He believes that his compatriot’s fine performances stem from the freedom given to him by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“It’s down to the coach. David wants to help and sometimes the players have to go forward and attack. David has the capacity to do that, and Felipao gives him the freedom whenever he has the opportunity,” he said, quoted by the Spanish newspaper AS.
Silva then went on to question his new Paris Saint-Germain teammate’s role under Jose Mourinho, hinting that perhaps the Portuguese boss didn’t give him the necessary freedom at Stamford Bridge.
“I don’t know what Mourinho told him to do, but the freedom is very important to him," he said. "It is good that the defence is playing well because in that aspect the offensive players play with more confidence.”
Luiz’s fine performances for Brazil can be demonstrated by Opta Stats below:
|Team||Pos||Total Att Assist||Total Scoring Att||Won Tackle||Interception||Accurate Pass / apps||Accurate Fwd Zone Pass / apps||Apps||Mins|
As per the table, it shows that the former Chelsea man has been able to get forward, creating an excellent assist for Fred against Cameroon and trying his luck at goal on three separate occasions.
Defensively, the 27-year-old has also performed strongly, winning four tackles and as many interceptions despite Brazil largely being on the front foot.
The biggest difference between his performances for Brazil and Chelsea, however, is in possession.
For Brazil, he averages 41.67 accurate passes per game, with 14.67 of those going forward – stats which score higher than his averages for Chelsea and thus perhaps proving that he has more licence and responsibility when representing his national team.