New Paris Saint-Germain signing Thiago Silva is looking forward to eventually playing under coach Carlo Ancelotti after they spent six months together at AC Milan when the Brazilian centre-back was not eligible to play.
The 27-year-old has been busy with the Olympics so was only introduced to French media on Friday, weeks after joining PSG from Milan for a reported French record fee which could reach 49 million euros.
"I started to take a look at Ligue 1 when Leonardo and Carlo Ancelotti came here and I followed their project with great interest," one of the world's top defenders told a news conference at the luxurious hotel Le Crillon.
"Leaving Milan to come here was not an easy choice to make. Now I am very happy. I do believe in the project. I signed for one of the greatest club in the world."
Ancelotti was in charge at Milan when the Brazilian landed in Italy in early 2009 but due to Serie A's quota system for non-EU players, he had to wait six months to make his debut.
By the time he did, Ancelotti had gone.
"We just talked today about the six months we spent at Milan where I trained with him without playing because the club had too many non-European players," Thiago Silva said.
"We laughed about it, hoping that I eventually will play under him here."
Thiago Silva, who is not completely fit after the rigours of the London Olympics when Brazil won silver, arrived in Paris last week and could make his debut at Lille in 10 days.
He has been the biggest signing of the transfer window for Qatar-backed PSG, who spent roughly 150 million euros on him, Milan front-man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Napoli's Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi and prospects Marco Verratti and Lucas Moura.
PSG's huge transfers and salaries, which dwarf the rest of the French league, have stirred a lot of criticism among pundits.
However, sports director and former Milan coach Leonardo defended the club on Friday as they bid to end years of under achievement for a capital side and become French and European powerhouses.
"Thiago has the same contract here that he had at Milan when he extended it," Leonardo said after media reported the defender will earn around 10 million euros a year.
"He made the choice with two similar contracts in his hands, I think it's important to know that."comments