David Luiz became the world’s most expensive defender on Friday when he completed his move from Chelsea to Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain.
“Paris St Germain is delighted to announce the transfer of Brazilian international David Luiz from Chelsea for the next five years,” read a statement on the club’s website.
No financial details were disclosed but media reports estimate the fee for the 27-year-old World Cup centre back is worth between 40 ($67.16-million) and 50 million pounds.
That surpasses the 36 million pounds PSG paid AC Milan in 2012 for Luiz’s World Cup partner Thiago Silva.
PSG have now paid three of the four largest fees for defenders having also splashed out 27 million pounds last year on Brazilian Marquinhos from AS Roma.
Former England international Rio Ferdinand was the most expensive defender after moving from Leeds United to Manchester United for 29 million pounds in 2002 but that fee has since been surpassed by Silva and Luiz.
The mop-haired Brazilian arrived at Chelsea from Benfica in January 2011 and established himself as a fan favourite, making 143 appearances and scoring 12 goals.
Luiz was part of the team that won the Champions League and FA Cup in 2012 and the Europa League in 2013.
“Right from the very first contact I had with Paris St Germain I was very happy,” he said.
“It’s a big club with a great history ... it’s a new step in my life and I’m impatient to play for Paris and show what I can do,” added Luiz.
“I will be defending the colours of one of the biggest clubs in the world. It will be a great time for me, both professionally and personally. I want to enjoy myself and, if possible, win as much as possible.”
Luiz follows England pair Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole in leaving Stamford Bridge during the close season.
“David Luiz has today completed his transfer to Paris St Germain,” Chelsea said in a statement.
“The Brazilian leaves with the best wishes of everybody at Chelsea Football Club and we would like to thank him for his fantastic service.”
Luiz joins an expensively-assembled squad at the Parc des Princes that includes Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani and Brazilian team mate Lucas Moura.
Thiago Silva and Luiz were central defensive partners when the host nation kicked off the World Cup on Thursday with a 3-1 victory over Croatia.
PSG boast a squad that ranks among the best in Europe. The club reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in each of the last two campaigns.
They came within minutes of qualifying for the semi-finals this season before being knocked out by Luiz’s Chelsea but the defender has now set his sights on bringing European success to his new club.
“I want to win the French League, all the cups and, most of all, the Champions League which is every player’s dream,” he said.
“I want to win it a second time. Rest assured we will be doing everything we can to give the supporters the chance to celebrate a European triumph.”
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