David Luiz Moreira Marinho known as David Luiz, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for the Brazil national team. Primarily a central defender, he can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder. After starting out at Vitória, he moved to Benfica, remaining with the club for five seasons (three complete). He joined Chelsea in January 2011, winning the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup during the 2011–12 season, followed by the UEFA Europa League the following season. In June 2014, he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of £50 million, a world record transfer for a defender, and won all four domestic competitions in both of his seasons in French football. He returned to Chelsea in August 2016 in a £30 million transfer deal. David Luiz made his full international debut for Brazil in 2010 and has since earned over 50 caps for his country. He was a member of the Brazilian teams which won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and reached the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and has also represented his nation in two editions of the Copa América.
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Although primarily a centre back, David Luiz can also be deployed as a defensive midfielder, and has drawn praise for his physical strength, work-rate, technique, and range of distribution as a defender, as well as his personality, composure in possession, and confidence on the ball, which enables him to play the ball out from the back or launch an attack with long balls after winning back possession. A powerful striker of the ball from distance, Luiz has also been known to take and score from long-range free kicks. Although in the past he has been criticized in the media for his inconsistent defensive performances, and for being reckless in his challenges, as well as prone to errors or lapses in concentration, during the 2016–17 season, he showed notable improvements upon his return to Chelsea, when the club’s new manager Antonio Conte decided to deploy him as a ball-playing centre back in a three-man back-line in the team’s 3–4–3 formation. Luiz excelled in the new role, while Conte praised the defender for working to improve his composure and concentration, and singled out Luiz as being “crucial” to the team’s success, also labelling him as one of the best defenders in the world.
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David Luiz is a devout Christian and has named Kaká as his role model. He said, “My faith gives me the belief that I can go out and perform and improve as a player. It gives me strength and inspiration.” He later added, “Everything in life belongs to God. Our purpose has already been mapped out.” He received baptism in May 2015 in the indoor swimming pool of his teammate Maxwell.
Earlier in his career, David Luiz was likened physically to the Brazilian basketball player Anderson Varejão by fans in his own country, due to their similar hairstyle. In England, he was referred to as The Simpsons villain Sideshow Bob by opposition fans, and also in self-reference. David Luiz is a Portuguese citizen, which was acquired during his time at Benfica. Portugal wanted him to represent their national team, but he opted to play for his native Brazil instead.