Beginning his career in his native Brazil with Vitoria, he made his debut as a teenage left-back and caught the attention of the national team set-up as he represented Brazil at the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada.
Moving to Benfica in 2007, he missed almost all of his first season through injury but, once recovered, was converted into a centre-back. In that position, he impressed so much he was named Portugal’s Player of the Year in 2010. Starting all but one game in Benfica’s title-winning season, he also caught the eye of new Brazil coach Mano Menezes and made his senior debut against the United States a month after the World Cup.
Having been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea for several months, Luiz eventually sealed a £21.3 million move to Stamford Bridge in the final hours of the 2011 January transfer window. He made an instant impression in London with his all-action displays, but questions were soon raised about his reliability as a defender.
However, he went some way towards proving the doubters wrong during the second half of the 2011-12 campaign with some impressive performances, particularly in the Champions League final.
Strengths: Versatile and powerful, his speed, aerial ability and technical skills stand out.
Weaknesses: He can be caught out positionally and his ability to remain focused remains a serious concern.
Career high: Defying his critics with a strong performance in the Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.
Career low: He was ridiculed during the early part of the 2011-12 season, with Gary Neville memorably suggesting the Brazilian looked as though he was “being controlled by a ten-year-old in the crowd on a PlayStation”. Style: Quick and technically superb, Luiz is one of the most exciting and unpredictable centre-backs in the game.
Quotes: “I’m a central defender, and that’s the position I feel most comfortable in, but I’d play in goal or up front if I had to. I can only be grateful for having the privilege to do a job I love.” David Luiz, December 2010.
Trivia: He scored an impressive seven goals in 47 games as a teenager for his first club Vitória.