Thiago Silva: I’ve waited 37 years for this

  • Thiago Silva revels in becoming a world champion for the first time

  • Thomas Tuchel hails the Brazilian and Kai Havertz

  • Both were in awe of the Palmeiras fans

“I feel immense happiness,” Thiago Silva told FIFA after inspiring Chelsea to FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021™ glory. “I’ve waited 37 years for this moment. “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for this. It’s so, so difficult to become a world champion. I’m really happy. We’re all really happy. “It was a really difficult game. In finals like this small details make the difference. They got a penalty through handball, we got a penalty through handball. But I think overall we deserved the result, we deserved to leave the pitch as world champions.”

“Well, he almost ruined his performances with a handball for the penalty!” Thomas Tuchel joked after seeing Thiago win the adidas Golden Ball. “He’s a fantastic player, a fantastic guy. “He deserves all the credit. That’s what we expect from him. I’m happy that he has this [Golden Ball] trophy. He absolutely deserves it.” Tuchel also reserved special praise for Kai Havertz, who scored the winner in the UEFA Champions League final in May and repeated the feat today. “He's very important for us,” said the Cheslea manager. “You can never bask in these things, live off scoring the winning goal in a huge game. You have to go and do it again and again and again. “I’m happy that he stepped up and took responsibility, and with the way he took his penalty. It’s never easy but he was very convincing.”

Tuchel only arrived in Abu Dhabi on the eve of the final after missing the victory over Al Hilal through COVID-19. “It wasn’t nice,” he said. “I was looking forward to the trip, having this week in fantastic facilities and a good environment with my team. “Unfortunately I only had one day. I missed the semi-final, which is never nice as a coach because you want to be a part of it and influence things and be on the sideline. “But it’s also the moment to trust – trust all the players, trust the staff – and they did a fantastic job, made it possible that we could play the final. Yesterday evening I managed to arrive, so I’m happy to have had the experience.”

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 12: Kai Havertz of Chelsea scores their side's second goal from the penalty spot during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021 Final match between Chelsea and Palmeiras at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Highlights: Chelsea 2-1 Palmeiras

“When you’re playing for a trophy, and there are only two games to that trophy, you really want to win it. All the teams who arrive here want to win it, and it’s never, ever easy. We’re very, very happy we did it. “This is actually a very special one because Chelsea hadn’t been world champions before. All the credit to the team. This is for the owner and the fans.” On the subject of fans, Palmeiras may not have won the trophy in Abu Dhabi but their extraordinary supporters, who rocketed the decibel levels here, won over the watching world. “I already knew what their supporters would be like,” said Thiago Silva. “They were a huge help to the team over 90 minutes and in extra-time. They make a lot of noise. They don’t stop singing. “Having supporters like that is a huge benefit to them. In games like that it can make the difference, but thank God we managed to come away as world champions.” Tuchel said of the Palmeirenses: “Brilliant, brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It felt a little bit like an away game for us. “They very loud and very enthusiastic. We knew they would be very passionate. It was beautiful to play in an atmosphere like this.”