Chelsea were crowned UEFA Champions League winners for the first time since 2012 on Saturday evening, defeating Manchester City 1-0 in the final at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.
Attacking-midfielder Kai Havertz, who joined the Blues from Bayer Leverkusen last September, netted the only goal of the game shortly before half-time to secure the club’s first piece of silverware under head coach Thomas Tuchel.
Whilst the scoreline suggested that Chelsea had edged a close-knit battle, the Blues were full value for the victory, dominating the game for long periods, so much so that goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had very little to do between the sticks.
City, who entered the game as favourites, failed to lay a glove on Tuchel’s charges, despite Pep Guardiola naming a very attack-minded line-up, which most probably struck fear into the hearts of Chelsea trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger ahead of kick-off.
But Chelsea’s defensive-line was not phased by the attacking talent that stood in front of them, even when experienced Brazilian ace Silva was forced off injured after just 39 minutes and needed to be replaced by Andreas Christensen. On what was a night for Chelsea and their fans to remember for years to come, there was one heartbreaking moment – Silva’s withdrawal.
The former AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain star had played a key role in the Blues’ run to the final, so it was a gut-wrenching moment to see him forced off with less than 40 minutes on the clock.
However gutted he may have been about not being able to continue, Silva refused to let it bother him too much, as he took up residency on the substitutes bench and showed potential signs that he has all of the necessary requirements to step into the world of coaching once he hangs up his boots.
That is because footage captured by Chelsea TV, as cited by Sport Bible, has shown Silva barking out a tonne of instructions to his team-mates from the dugout and sending out messages of encouragement and support.
The clips captured showed the 36-year-old shouting messages, gesturing instructions with his hands and being in a state of shock when Christian Pulisic wasted the chance to put the contest beyond doubt with a golden second-half opportunity.
Silva’s touchline antics are a mirror image of what Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo did when he was forced off injured for Portugal in the final of UEFA Euro 2016 against France. Deemed as Portugal’s leader and star asset, the Euro 2016 winners were rocked when he was forced off injured after just 25 minutes.
Although it was a heartbreaking moment for the former Real Madrid man, as he had played an instrumental role in helping his team reach the final, Ronaldo was determined to offer encouragement to his team-mates, even if he could not help them on the pitch.
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The former Manchester United star did not stop shouting instructions, encouraging those on the pitch, and pacing up and down the technical area, almost as though he had been promoted to assistant manager.
In truth, Silva has all the makings of a future coach as he is a model professional and the type of character that could have a major influence on the next generation of players.