Thiago Silva insists “age is just a number” and he is not worried about adapting to the speed of Premier League football following his move to Chelsea.
Chelsea signed 36-year-old centre-back Silva on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazil international is set to make his debut in the EFL Cup third-round meeting with Barnsley on Wednesday, three days before the Blues head to West Brom in the Premier League.
Silva is not concerned about being shown up in England’s top flight, referring to Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti’s statement that he would have signed Usain Bolt over James Rodriguez if he wanted a sprinter.
“I don’t worry at all because I know where I want to get to. I really have high hopes about this young team,” said Silva on his birthday on Tuesday.
“Physically, I feel really good – age is just a number on your documentation. Physically, I feel very young and I’ve been preparing my whole life.
“People who know me know I put 200 per cent into my work and this is a great opportunity that Chelsea and Lampard have given me and I really don’t want to let them down.
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“I never saw myself in the Premier League before, because I thought it was too difficult style of football. I didn’t have any desire to play in the Premier League because my impression of the football played was of long balls, high balls and long shots.
“I couldn’t really see myself playing in this league but over time I saw that it developed tremendously, there’s a lot more technical quality. A lot of teams play with the ball on the ground, with the full-backs attacking in the area and every team has their own idea and strengths but I previously saw it characterised by long balls and that didn’t appeal to me.
“I know how to play that way, but my preference is to play with the ball on the ground. I know my quality, little-by-little, the Premier League football really won me over. Anyone who knows me, knows that.
“At 36, I am arriving to play in one of the best championships in the world. This is usually a league of young players but I am coming here as an older player and I see it as because Frank Lampard and Chelsea want a player of my experience.
“If someone wants a runner, then I refer to the words that Carlo Ancelotti used for James: ‘If you want someone to run, they can sign Usain Bolt’.
“With my experience and the young players here, I hope to help them in this new adventure.”