Why Chelsea's David Luiz Has the Potential to Become the World's Best Defender

Will J BakerCorrespondent IIIMarch 22, 2011

Why Chelsea's David Luiz Has the Potential to Become the World's Best Defender

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    Luiz has already helped to turn Chelsea's fortunes around.Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Since making a career-defining £25 million move to Premier League champions Chelsea, David Luiz Mareira Marinho has already played a key role in reversing the club's fortunes. He has swiftly become a cult hero at Stamford Bridge and with two vital goals already to his name, Luiz will be a key factor if Chelsea are to overhaul Manchester United and retain their Premier League crown.

    Here are five reasons why David Luiz has the potential to become the best central defender in the world. 

Tough Tackling

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    Luiz out-muscling Wayne rooneyClive Rose/Getty Images

    Luiz has already proven that he is not afraid of the physicality of the English game with some tough tackles and a real strength on the ball. After growing up in one of Sao Paulo's toughest districts, Luiz has so far shown no fear at the prospect of going toe-to-toe with some of the Premier League's more intimidating strikers.

    He played Manchester City's 6'4" striker Edin Dzeko off the pitch on the weekend and Wayne Rooney was kept quiet for much of the second half in Chelsea's clash with the League leaders after Luiz had found his stride.

    More importantly, Luiz knows how to time his tackles and you will rarely see him go to the ground in desperation. He is also a master at jockeying his opponents and forcing them into areas that they don't want to go.

    To succeed in the Premier League, you cannot back out when the going gets tough and Luiz certainly seems to relish the physical confrontations that are a part and parcel of English football. 

Bringing the Ball out of Defence

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    David Luiz on the ballScott Heavey/Getty Images

    He is definitely a central defender with skills similar to the likes of Nesta and Cannavaro in terms of playing the ball out of defense. Luiz thrives with the ball at his feet and often makes threatening runs into opposition territory.

    With a calm and composure on the ball that not even Gerard Pique can claim, Luiz will ensure that Chelsea's attacks start from the back and he will eliminate the aimless long balls for Drogba. It also means that Chelsea's midfield will be able to find more space as the opposition attempt to challenge Luiz. 


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    Luiz representing BrazilAlex Livesey/Getty Images

    Luiz is effective at playing the short, simple balls but is also comfortable at playing a 60-yard cross-field pass that switches the direction of attack and catches the opposition off-guard. 

    He rarely gives possession away and he has the valuable ability to win the ball and immediately start an attack with a pinpoint pass. This is a weakness for many top center backs who tend to opt for the long-ball approach, which often leads to possession being lost.


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    Luiz forcing Manchester United's Hernandez backwards.Clive Rose/Getty Images

    The best team in the world, Barcelona, are able to dominate so many matches because their fast pressing style forces the opposition to give away possession cheaply. This is Luiz's trademark!

    His constant pressing and his determination to win the ball back has pressurized so many opposition players into playing a sloppy pass or being forced into touch. 

    Perhaps one of his few weaknesses is that he can press too much and give away cheap fouls (the penalty against Fulham) but it must make him a nightmare to play against!

Eye for Goal

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    Luiz celebrating his crucial goal against Man. CityScott Heavey/Getty Images

    Many of the greatest defenders of all-time have shown an ability to pop up with important goals when their team is in need and Luiz has already scored two goals in four starts in the Chelsea blue.

    His finish against Manchester United was one that you would expect from Torres or Rooney, and there is clearly more to come from the Brazilian maestro! 

The Final Word...

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    To sum up, David Luiz has already shown what he is capable of and at the tender age of 23, he has the potential to become a Chelsea icon, a Brazilian hero and the best defender in the world!

    I leave you with a clip of David Luiz in action.