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Paris – Brazil defender David Luiz believes the best way to get over his World Cup disappointment is to be back on the pitch as quickly as possible.
French champion Paris Saint-Germain signed Luiz on a five-year deal that was announced before his lackluster performances in Brazil's last two games at the World Cup last month.
“The first days after the World Cup were very difficult,” Luiz said in his official introduction at PSG on Thursday. “That's why football is so nice. It gives us the opportunity to react quickly and learn a lot from a situation, what were our mistakes and where things went wrong.”
The host nation was thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semifinals and lost 3-0 to the Netherlands in the match for third place.
“We wouldn't be having this conversation if Brazil had lost in the quarterfinals,” Luiz said through a translator. “We will gain experience, whether it's positive or negative (.) We haven't played well in two games, but we had some good games before. It happens in football.”
PSG will open its French league campaign at Reims on Friday before hosting Bastia the following week.
“I want to be on the pitch as soon as possible,” Luiz said. “I hope to be 100 percent fit for next week. I'm looking forward to playing my first match for Paris.”
Luiz is a physical defender who can also play in midfield. He won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 and became the most expensive defender in the world when PSG signed him in June for a reported fee between 40 and 50 million pounds.
The Brazilian can score from free kicks and is known for his propensity to go forward, which can lead him to get caught out of position. He sometimes makes reckless fouls and his positional play can be erratic, too.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said Chelsea will be stronger without Luiz.
“David did important things here, was always a good professional and we will miss him as a good guy,” Mourinho said. “But from a football point of view, we believe our squad is stronger this season than it was.”
Luiz was not a first-choice centerback for Mourinho, who preferred John Terry and Gary Cahill.
“I'm listening to my new coach, Laurent Blanc, not my former coach,” Luiz said. “Mourinho and Chelsea belong to the past.”
The Qatari owners of PSG have made clear that the ultimate goal is to win the Champions League, while retaining the French league title is the bare minimum.
PSG was knocked out in the Champions League quarterfinals on away goals last season. The French club beat Chelsea 3-1 in the first leg but then lost 2-0 in London.
“He's one of the best defenders in the world,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. “I don't think David was very expensive (.) Many great clubs wanted to sign David.”
Luiz, who has earned 43 caps with Brazil, scored two goals at the World Cup this summer. He will play alongside Brazil teammate Thiago Silva at PSG.
“We've been playing together for a long time,” Luiz said about his partnership with Silva. “We understand each other very well on and off the pitch.” – Sapa-AP