David Luiz exclusive: I've matured as a player since first Chelsea spell

David Luiz says he has matured as a footballer since his first spell at Chelsea

David Luiz says he has matured as a footballer since his first spell at Chelsea, and insists he reads the game better now.

­­­­Luiz's Chelsea are on course to win the Premier League title in his first season back at the club following a move from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, having left the club in 2014 under Jose Mourinho.

The Brazilian, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year this season, says he has returned to England with a better understanding of the game, but insists he is continuing to learn under Antonio Conte.

Chelsea's David Luiz celebrates at the end of the victory
Image: Luiz insists he has matured as a player since his first Chelsea spell

Asked if he had matured, Luis said: "You have to, and also as a person. I think the experience gives you many things, and yes, as a person and a footballer, you have to if you want to learn. If you are open every day.

"I read more of the game now, I can understand more of the game, it is a different pressure now with the big games. Many, many things. I think if you want to improve, you need to think you are a better player than you were.

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"I've worked with six, seven, eight coaches, they have improved my game, different leagues and different countries."

Asked if the Premier League had changed since he'd been away, Luiz added: "I think the intensity is the same, I think the level is the same, because it is always six, or seven teams fighting for the title. I don't see a lot of difference.

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Tottenham were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in November
Image: Chelsea currently lead Tottenham in the race for the Premier League title

"It continues with the high credibility, it is one of the best leagues in the world, if not the best, and it is difficult to win."

Chelsea moved to a back-three system earlier this season, something that has seen them rise to the top of the Premier League under Conte in his first season.

Luiz revealed he played in that formation when he was younger, and says working with the Italian has been beneficial to his game.

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"I started in this system when I was young, a long time ago, and now I come back to play in the back three. In this system you work a lot in a tactical way, Conte gives me a lot of good advice in ways to read the game," he said.

"In my position I need to be the cover for everybody, the cover for the midfielders and the defence and the wingers. It's a tactical place, and I love to work with Conte, he loves to work on the details. He's helped me a lot and he's great to work with."

Luiz and Chelsea would be forgiven for feeling the pressure going into the final weeks of the campaign, but the 30-year-old says the pressure comes with playing for a big side and aiming for success.

Antonio Conte, manager of Chelsea celebrates after the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park
Image: Antonio Conte could win the Premier League title in his first season in England

"I think you have to enjoy it. We have to know our life is great, and it is a pleasure to wake up every day, you never know if you wake up tomorrow, so we need to enjoy it in the best way," he added.

"Of course with the compromise, with the focus, everything, and the responsibility to understand your job, but of course with the pleasure of enjoying the job too.

"It's nice to have the pressure, this means we are fighting for something big."

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