Chelsea turned heads this season after signing 36-year-old Brazilian centre-back Thiago Silva in the summer.
Many believed that the Brazilian's age doesn't make him a long-term solution.
However, Silva has proven to be more than just useful for Chelsea, providing leadership and adding experience to a young team.
The Brazilian recently revealed that he aims to fulfil his career goal of playing at the highest level till the age of 40, following in the footsteps of his idol and former teammate at AC Milan Paolo Maldini.
"I, In particular, saw myself a lot at Maldini. Those last six months of his career were the six months that I had arrived at Milan and couldn’t play. Ancelotti took me to all the games, he asked me to look at the team somehow, of course, but specifically to look at what Maldini did on the pitch and off the pitch," Silva told TNT Sports Brasil.
"I identified a lot with Paolo and with this little interaction that I had with him, I could see there that suddenly I was preparing well and could reach 40 years of age playing wherever I wanted, you know.
"Paolo, for sure, he may not even know it, but he’s certainly a great admiration that I had, a mirror so that I can reach these 40 years, which is the age I have in my head that maybe I could end my career."
Maldini was inspirational both on and off the pitch: Chelsea's Thiago Silva
The Chelsea defender revealed that Maldini had a massive influence on his career. The Italian legend is one of the reasons why Silva wants to play till the age of 40.
"He was 41 already (when I came to Milan). He asked a lot so that I could watch him," the Brazilian said. "And I tried to observe not only in the games, but during the moments during the week, in his preparation, what he did, what he tried to do to keep improving, because people who play at a high level are always wanting to improve and playing as better as possible."
Thiago Silva will now join hands with former coach Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.
Despite the recent struggles that led to the sacking of Frank Lampard, Silva will look to continue being an important part of the Blues side that aims to finish top four.