Chelsea’s David Luiz is one of world’s best defenders, says Rafael Benítez

Former Chelsea manager Rafael Benítez has described David Luiz as one of the "best central defenders in the world"

David Luiz
David Luiz joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2011 Photo: The Sport Review

Rafael Benítez has hailed Chelsea centre-half David Luiz as one of the “best central defenders in the world”.

The Brazil international was omitted from Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up for the 2-0 victory over Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night.

The Blues boss revealed he was unhappy with certain aspects of Luiz’s performance in a mid-week defeat by Basel in the Champions League.

Mourinho’s predecessor Benítez, who is currently in charge of Napoli, played the 26-year-old in a defensive midfield position, as well as at centre-half.

And the Spaniard reckons Luiz can be a success at the heart of Chelsea’s defence if playing alongside an instructive defensive partner.

“He’s one of the best central defenders in the world,” said Benítez.

“I was coaching him and I can tell you he’s one of the best in the world, because he has everything. You just have to manage him properly – and then he is one of the best in the world.

“I could explain exactly what I wanted and tactically he is very clever. He needs just the people who can give him the ideas and the instructions of what to do and then he will do them, because he is very clever.’

“I don’t see too many better in the air. I don’t see too many better or quicker or faster than him. I don’t see too many technically better. Tactically, he is much better than the rest of players around him.”

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