Big weekend interview – David Luiz speaks on Antonio Conte, 3-5-2, reasons for coming back to Chelsea, leadership and more

David Luiz says Chelsea’s understanding of Antonio Conte’s philosophy has propelled them to the top of the Premier League this season.

Luiz returned to Chelsea in the summer and has gone on to feature heavily for Conte in the centre of a back three.

Since reverting to a 3-5-2 formation, Chelsea have gone on to win 10 league games in a row and will now aim to beat Arsenal’s record of 14 set in 2002.

And with Chelsea sitting six points clear at the top ahead of their lunch-time kick-off against Crystal Palace, live on Sky Sports 1 HD, Luiz admits there’s still a lot of hard work to do.

“I always love football but of course it’s good when you win and the team is doing well,” Luiz told Sky Sports.

“We understand the philosophy, the system. Everyone is giving 100 per cent for the team. The collective comes before the individual.

“Winning the Premier League is never easy, whether you’re at home or away, the games are always tough. It’s good but it’s too early to speak about the title or being favourites. We need to keep working hard every day.

“I think when you understand the plan and the philosophy of the coach, it’s much easier. It’s like when you’re at school and you love to do something, you’re in the advanced class. That’s the key.

“We love football, we understand the philosophy, we have a connection with the manager and this connection gives us confidence. He’s a top manager.”

“I have in my personality (leadership qualities); I like to organise, I try to be a leader in the dressing room too. I try to help my team-mates and the club – that’s why I came back,” Luiz added.

“I love the club, because I had the opportunity, because I think it was my purpose to come back.

“Decisions in football happen quickly. When Chelsea came to me and said they wanted me to come back I was happy because I had a special moment here – one of the best in my career. I won the Champions League, the Europa League.

“Paris was also amazing for me – I spent two years there and I was winning a lot. But I decided to come back.

“I am a lucky play, I was living in Paris and now I’m back in London, so I can’t complain, my life is great.

The Brazilian also opened up about losing friends in the Colombia plane crash, which saw many Chapecoense players and staff lose their lives.

“Of course it has affected me because I had friends there. We live this life every day, and think of the flights I have taken to play football,” Luiz said.

“We saw that happen with friends and people we know at the best moment for this club. It was the best moment for players and journalists inside the plane.

“I’m still sad with this, because it’s difficult. It’s difficult to accept and it was tragic for everybody – the word is sad.

“It will be good to be with my family at Christmas but of course this will be inside our hearts and we need to pray for them.”

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