Chelsea FC's David Luiz has special reason to look forward to the UEFA Europa League final against SL Benfica.
While the showpiece match at the Amsterdam ArenA affords a host of Rafael Benítez's men, Luiz included, the opportunity to add to the UEFA Champions League winners' medals they picked up 12 months ago, it carries extra significance for the defender-cum-midfielder.
The 26-year-old moved to Stamford Bridge from the Portuguese side in January 2011, in a deal worth up to €25m plus Nemanja Matić, and on Wednesday he will be reunited with the club where he celebrated a Liga title in 2009/10. "It's special, it's a special moment for me, so emotional," he told UEFA.com.
"Everyone knows that I have Benfica in my heart, but when you start the game, you forget everything. I want to win with Chelsea, I want to win this title. When you play a final, you always play against big teams, big clubs. That's why Benfica are in the final, that's why Chelsea are in the final," continued Luiz, who may line up alongside another Benfica old boy in Ramires.
That the Blues are in the Dutch capital is thanks, in part, to the Brazilian international, who followed up his added-time free-kick against semi-final opponents FC Basel 1893 with a stunning strike in the return leg 11 days ago as the Londoners completed a 5-2 aggregate win.
Having suffered disappointment in the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup this campaign, Luiz is desperate not to miss out on any more silverware. "It's an important final, an important competition," he said. "If you look at this season, we've lost three finals, so now we have a moment when we have another opportunity to win a title, a big title. It is important motivation. It will be a fantastic game against a historic team, so we need to win."
As for the Eagles, a side he represented for four and a half seasons (and 82 Liga matches) before moving to west London, David Luiz knows just how formidable an opponent they are. "Benfica have an amazing philosophy," he said. "With the ball they press high, so it is difficult when you play against them. When they press high you shouldn't leave any space [for them] to move the ball, so you need to be focused all the time. We need to be ready for all challenges."
Click the video player above to hear the full interview with Luiz.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.