Thiago Silva reveals intention to play into his 40s

Thiago Silva has been a fantastic signing for Chelsea
Thiago Silva has been a fantastic signing for Chelsea / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Thiago Silva has revealed he hopes to emulate Milan legend Paolo Maldini by continuing to playing at the top level into his 40s.

The 37-year-old joined Chelsea in 2020 on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, and despite his reputation as one of the best central defender of his generation, he has still surpassed expectations at Stamford Bridge with his stoic showings at the back.

Thiago has already penned a further one-year contract with the Blues that will keep him at the club until a few months shy of his 39th birthday in 2023, and the Brazil international has revealed he has no plans to stop playing then - hoping to emulate a legend of one of his former clubs.

"I hope I can do the same thing that Maldini did at Milan, playing until he was 40 or 41 years old," he told Chelsea's official website.

"That’s my plan for the immediate future and I have prepared myself for that."

However, while Thiago plans to continue playing for several more years, he also conceded that his body is taking longer to recover following a match. He's even got a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber at his home in Surrey to accelerate muscle repair.

"When you’re young, you think you’re a superhero," he admitted. "I’d play one game a day so in terms of recovery it was a lot quicker, whereas now 24 hours seems like no time at all in which to recover.

"You’ve always got to be active and up to speed with the new recovery methods out there. I’ve got lots of things I do at home like physio work, and nowadays I’ve got a better diet than before. You need to fuel yourself well, not with the bad stuff.

"This is part of what I’ve got to do so that I can optimise this recovery process, which for me needs to be quicker."

The Brazilian added that he never doubted that he would be able to maintain his performance levels despite stepping up from Ligue 1 to the Premier League at such a late stage in his career.

"I wasn’t apprehensive but after eight years at a club, I was making such a big move at what is theoretically the tail-end of my career, for many players at least," he continued.

"So many people had their doubts whether I’d be able to play to the same standard here as I did at PSG but I never had any doubts of how I’d perform for the club. I feel like I’ve kept up my standard here at Chelsea bearing in mind it’s the best league in the world.

"I left a big club but joined a big one as well. I stayed at a high level and I’m really proud of how it’s gone but it’s been a lot of hard work to keep up those high standards."

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