Champions League

Thiago Silva confirms Chelsea exit and hints at future return to club

Thiago Silva confirms Chelsea exit and hints at future return to club

Thiago Silva will leave Chelsea at the end of the campaign (Action Images via Reuters)

Thiago Silva will depart Chelsea at the end of the season, with the veteran defender bringing to an end a four-year stint at Stamford Bridge.

Silva joined the club on a free transfer in August 2020 on an initial one-year deal, but extended his stay and has remained a consistent starter under Mauricio Pochettino.

The 39-year-old was part of the side that won the Champions League in 2021, featuring in the final against Manchester City as Chelsea secured a second European crown.

The experienced centre half suffered a suspected groin injury against Aston Villa on Saturday, and could yet miss the final five Premier League games of the season.

Silva would appear to have no plans to retire, though, with reports linking him with a move back to Fluminense 15 years on from leaving the Brazilian club for AC Milan.

“Chelsea means a lot to me,” Silva told the club’s website. “I came here with the intention of only staying for a year and it ended up being four years. Not just for me but for my family, too.

Thiago Silva, right, celebrates winning the Champions League (Getty)

“My sons play for Chelsea so it’s a source of great pride to be a part of the Chelsea family – literally because my sons are here. I hope they can continue their careers here at this victorious club that many players wish to be part of.

“I think in everything I did here over the four years, I always gave my all. But, unfortunately, everything has a start, a middle and an end. That doesn’t mean that this is a definitive end. I hope to leave the door open so that in the near future I can return, albeit in another role here.”

Capped 113 times by Brazil, Silva won seven Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain during a successful stint in France before joining Chelsea four years ago.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have endured a mixed campaign and sit ninth in the Premier League, though still hold faint hopes of surging into a European qualification place. They host Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night with the chance to climb above West Ham.

Silva has hinted that he could well return to London in a different capacity in the future.

Thiago Silva has hinted he may return to the club in the future (PA Wire)

“It’s an indescribable love,” Silva said of Chelsea. “I can only say thank you. It is already hard saying goodbye in the most normal of circumstances but when there is a mutual love, it’s even harder. But one a Blue, always a Blue.

“The way in which I came to the club, with the support of the club, I got to the club as a leader even though I didn’t feel like it having arrived as the new guy. It’s always difficult to integrate but bit by bit I became part of the group and (Frank) Lampard played a big part in that. I am grateful to him for that.

“[It’s been a] dream, definitely a dream. Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I could achieve such great things and win one of the best professional titles, the Champions League, at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Goodbyes are for those that leave and don’t come back. I intend on coming back one day.”

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