THIAGO SILVA has vowed to emulate AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini by playing on into his FORTIES.
The Chelsea star, 37, has been nothing short of sensational since his free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.
Silva, who has five goals in 69 appearances for the Blues, won his first-ever Champions League during his maiden Stamford Bridge season.
And despite Silva’s advancing years, the Brazil captain was handed a new deal in January to tie him down until 2023.
However, Silva could be sticking around at Chelsea for even longer.
That’s because he feels he can play until he’s ’40 or 41’ – just like his idol Maldini, now 53 and technical director at Milan.
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Maldini played 902 times for his boyhood club between 1984 and 2009, only calling it a day when he was 41 years old.
He won seven Serie A titles and five European Cups while also being capped 126 times by Italy.
Silva replaced the iconic defender in AC Milan’s defence 13 years ago, winning Serie A in 2011.
And filling the legend’s boots appears to have had a knock-on effect, with Silva also ready to push on as a footballer into his forties.
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He told Chelsea’s official website: “I hope I can do the same thing that Maldini did at Milan, playing until he was 40 or 41 years old.
“That’s my plan for the immediate future and I have prepared myself for that.
“When you’re young, you think you’re a superhero. I’d play one game a day, so in terms of recovery it was a lot quicker.
“Whereas now 24 hours seems like no time at all in which to recover.
“You’ve always got to be active and up to speed with the new recovery methods out there.
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“I’ve got lots of things I do at home like physio work, and nowadays I’ve got a better diet than before. You need to fuel yourself well, not with the bad stuff.
“This is part of what I’ve got to do so that I can optimise this recovery process, which for me needs to be quicker.”
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