The Chelsea and Brazilian ball playing defender is equally comfortable at the back or in midfield. David Luiz talks to FourFourTwo about how the two roles are not that different anymore.
Role changes as per teams system
"[The role of defender] has definitely changed because football as a whole has changed as well. But at the end of the day, your duties will always depend on your manager's decisions. The centreback's role usually gets affected by the system that your team uses and the strategy you have, so it will be different for every club.
"In some systems, there's more freedom for a defender to go forward, but in others you have got to stay back all of the time. Also, in the past it was pretty rare to see defenders taking a curling free-kick, as they'd always be really powerful shots. However, now we see players hitting the ball like forwards and midfielders, right?"
Play where you are needed
"At the moment I'm playing as a sweeper for Chelsea, although I did play in front of the centre-backs during my first spell at the club. It all depends on the manager's decision, which can also be impacted by the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. For me, it isn't difficult to adapt to a new role. As a professional footballer, you must be ready to fight for your team-mates, no matter where you are on the pitch."
Difference between European and South American defenders
"I believe that the culture of the country influences its style of football. You carry the values you learn off the pitch onto it as well. In general, players from Europe have more discipline in comparison to the South American players. On the other hand, improvising may come more naturally to the South Americans.
"However, this is changing because of the huge number of South American players now in Europe, which means that both cultures are influencing one another. But some differences will continue to exist and, as a Brazilian, I have to admit that it's an advantage if you have the ability to improvise during the difficult moments."
David Luiz is a Nike athlete and wears Nike Tiempo Legend.