DAVID LUIZ: FORGET EVERYTHING
A year on from one continental success, David Luiz now prepares for another European final, against familiar and friendly opposition.
The Brazilian joined us from Benfica in early 2011 having previously spent four years with Benfica, where he played in both the Champions League and Europa League, and helped us eliminate the Portuguese side on our journey to Munich last season, making a triumphant return to the Estadio Da Luz.
This time we meet on neutral territory at the Amsterdam Arena, and while acknowledging the emotion of the occasion, David Luiz is determined to end the night with more silverware.
'It will be a strange game, a special day for me and my team-mates,' said the 26-year-old. 'Both teams have quality, that's why we are in the final. There is a lot of emotion, not just for me, for everyone, because it's a European title.
'Mine is a nice emotion. I played for two big clubs who helped me a lot and let me show my football to the world. I came to Europe like many players in Brazil want to. It's a good emotion but when I start the game I forget everything and want to win.'
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus has developed a relatively settled squad over the past few years, which has gained experience and unity along the way. An obvious strength, it does however mean David Luiz remains well placed to discuss his former side.
'I know a lot about Benfica's players and their coach as well,' he reported. 'They play with a lot of possession and press a lot. They have quality and that's why they are in the final, but Chelsea have a fantastic team also.
'Oscar Cardozo is a fantastic striker and scores many goals every season.People in Portugal sometimes speak badly about him but he scores more than 25 each year. Nico Gaitan has had a fantastic season and is more mature now. When he arrived in Benfica I tried to help him a lot because he missed home and wanted to go back to Argentina. I told him, "Come on, you have a great opportunity, don't go back".
'[Former blue Nemanja] Matic was part of my transfer [to Chelsea] and this season was fantastic. He is more mature and experienced. He has more confidence to play, and he has been amazing. There are many more like Luisao and Aimar who give the young players confidence.'
As his rampaging playing style would suspect, there will be few men on the field on Wednesday with more self-belief than David Luiz. As he says, he has Benfica in part to thank for that, but he will insist on doing his former side no favours in Amsterdam.