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Conte hails David Luiz as one of the world's best defenders

Overseeing David Luiz's transformation into a consistent and reliable defender, Antonio Conte hailed the 29-year-old.

DavidLuiz-cropped
Chelsea defender David Luiz

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte heaped praise on David Luiz, who he believes is one of the best defenders in the world.

David Luiz was sold to French champions Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 after former boss Jose Mourinho lost patience with the Brazilian but Conte lured him back to Stamford Bridge in the off-season.

It has proved to be a wise decision, with a more mature David Luiz starring for the Premier League leaders, who have the chance to restore their seven-point advantage against Manchester United on Sunday.

Overseeing David Luiz's transformation into a consistent and reliable defender, Conte hailed the 29-year-old.

"When David arrived in England, I heard a lot of bad things about him," Conte said. Why was he coming back to Chelsea because, in the past, he had performed badly and was not a defender?

"This was a great challenge for him, but also for me and when we decided to buy him, to take him back, we were sure we were taking a really good player.

"We have put him back as one of the best defenders in Europe and, I hope, in the world."

Of David Luiz being overlooked for the PFA Player of the Year award, Conte added: "It's more difficult for the defenders, no? For this reason, Paolo Maldini never won the Best Player in the World award.

"But this position, as a central player in three defenders, is perfect for David to play.

"He has good technique, he's strong, can start our possession and has the personality to do this. He also has two really good defenders at his side, in Gary [Cahill] and [Cesar] Azpi [Azpilicueta], or Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake or John Terry."

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