Kovacic hopes to win Champions League win as 'big gift' for Chelsea teammate

Mateo Kovacic said Thiago Silva deserves to win the Champions League as he compared the Chelsea defender with his former Inter Milan teammate Javier Zanetti.

Throughout his career, Kovacic has played with high-level players at several top clubs, such as Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Among them is Silva who joined Chelsea last summer and has become an influential figure in the team.

The Brazil international, however, is not the first veteran defender that Kovacic has played with.

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“They’re similar. Zanetti was a bit older, he was 40 when I played with him, but they’re both big, big professionals, so experienced,” Kovacic told Chelsea TV about the comparison between Silva and the Inter Milan icon.

“When you see them play, they’re so calm on the ball, especially Thiago at the back. Two big, big players.

“I think Thiago hasn’t won the Champions League, and he deserves [to win it] as a player because he’s done amazing in his career.

“So I hope, this could be a big gift for him and for his career.”

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Chronicle view

Silva was very close to Champions League glory with Paris Saint-Germain last season after the defeat to Bayern Munich in the final.

The centre-back has been at the top level for so many years now and now at 36, he will have another chance to finally win his first Champions League trophy with Chelsea.

While many would argue a Champions League medal would not affect the defender’s status as a modern great, as Kovacic pointed out, Silva deserves it.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.