Thiago Silva announces he will depart Chelsea at the end of the season after four years at club

Published on 30 April 2024 at 13:00

On August 23 2020 at the Estadio De Luz stadium in Lisbon, a 36 year old Thiago Silva stared vacantly across the pitch inconsolable after witnessing PSG lose their first ever Champions League final to Bayern Munich.

The Brazilian had lifted seven Ligue 1 titles, six Coupe de France trophies and seven French Super Cup's during his eight seasons with the Parisian giants becoming their longest serving captain ever, but one trophy had evaded him - The Champions League.

On that night it appeared the curtain had closed on a decorated career in which the centre-back had lifted a Serie A in Milan, the Copa America with Brazil and evolved into one of the greatest centre-back's of his generation.



In August 2020 the "boy from Rio de Janeiro" made a maiden voyage to England's promise land at the age of 36 joining Chelsea on an initial one year deal. He had conquered Brazil, Italy and France, and arrived in West London to write a new chapter in his illustrious career.

Silva joined an inexperienced Chelsea team, which was being re-built after a transfer embargo in the previous season by Frank Lampard. The Englishman had qualified for the Champions League in the 2020-21 season, a chance for one last dance for Silva in Europe's greatest competition.

In January German tactician Thomas Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge to resurrect an underwhelming campaign, with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League and facing Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 in Europe.

Thiago Silva was the commanding presence which formed the epicentre of Tuchel's re-formatted defence, partnered with Antonio Rudiger with Reece James and Ben Chilwell on both flanks they kept four clean sheets on route to the Final at the Estadio Do Dragao in Porto. In just over four months Tuchel had galvanised a disjoined and weak side into Champions League finalists.

In one year, Silva had reached successive Champions League finals for two different clubs. In the 38th minute, heartbreak struck for the captain as he suffered a groin injury which forced him to withdraw from the biggest game in his 18 year career.

At the age of 37, Thiago Silva lifted the Champions League with a Chelsea side who had been underdogs at every stage of the competition. On that night, he had become a cult hero for the Blues and he had formed a permanent bond with Chelsea which would stay with him forever.


On Monday, the iconic defender announced after four years he would be leaving Chelsea after making 151 appearances for the West Londoners. He represents one of the last remnants of the Roman Abramovich era, which symbolises success and euphoria for Chelsea supporters.

He stated in an emotional farewell video:

"Chelsea means a lot to me. I came here with the intention to only stay for a year and it ended up being four years"

After that magical night in 2020, the centre-back has guided Chelsea to the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup as well as reaching three domestic finals; EFL Cup 2022 and 2024 and FA Cup 2022.

Silva has become a permanent fixture at Chelsea, following in the footsteps of John Terry and Frank Lampard as a great leader in the club's history.

Despite the upheaval of Todd Boehly's ownership which has seen a complete overhaul of the squad and disarray on the field, Silva has always remained one of the club's best performers with his passion and fight making Chelsea fans fall in love with him.

While, teammates like Rudiger, Kovacic and Mount all abandoned the club amid its decline under Boehly Silva refused to leave, instead becoming a mentor for next generation bought by the club.

This season he has played 34 games in all competitions, starting 25 games in the Premier League where he has transitioned in and out of the team paving the way for the future such as Axel Disasi, Benoit Badiashile and Levi Colwill.

Few outfield players can retain the fitness levels and physicality to endure the Premier League at 39 years old, but Silva has looked effortless on the pitch since his arrival in 2020 being a true professional in every game.

He signed his final extension at the club in 2022, sharing that his two sons Isago and Iago were making good progress in the youth team. 

The defender has truly become a blue since joining Chelsea and has granted the respect of all Premier League fans who view him as the model example of a centre-back.



It was evident at stages this season, Silva knew his time at Chelsea was diminishing such as his emotional outburst after the FA Cup Semi-Final defeat to Manchester City, the realisation of no silverware in his farewell season.

Earlier in the season his wife Bell e, had aired her frustration towards the Chelsea hierarchy on social media demanding change at the club and has voiced her displeasure in results this campaign.

The number six, will have hoped to leave Chelsea with European qualification but it looks unlikely currently with Pochettino's side in ninth, five points off of sixth with only five games remaining.

It's likely Silva could be ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a groin injury in the 2-2 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday, which could have signalled his last game for the club.

He arrived at Chelsea a footballing legend, but left a god who has achieved everything in football and epitomises a dying breed of a traditional footballer.

The 39 year old has been linked with returning to Fluminense in Brazil after 15 years and has made it clear retirement is not an option yet.


Thank you Thiago Silva  


all images are creative commons @ flickr


Written by Lewis Eadie

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