Retired Brazilian centre-back Alex (40) has given a wide-ranging interview to L’Equipe. The former Chelsea defender (2007-2012) spent two seasons in the French capital before joining AC Milan. He called time on his career two years later, in 2016. “I should not have left PSG“, regrets Alex.
According to him, then PSG coach Laurent Blanc wanted him to stay, even if Les Parisiens were recruiting another Brazilian defender from Chelsea, David Luiz. PSG proposed Alex a one-year contract extension, but the former PSV Eindhoven man wanted to stay for another two years. The standoff ended with Alex joining the Rossoneri. “I suffered there. The team wasn’t good and I regretted having left because there was everything to be happy at PSG.“
According to Alex, the best centre-back he played with was a fellow countryman and PSG teammate Thiago Silva. “He was the most professional player I’ve worked with. His only issue was his hatred of defeat. After a loss, he couldn’t say a word. That was annoying!” Alex claims he can’t understand why PSG let him go in 2020, stating it was a big mistake.
Alex told L’Equipe that the most underrated player he played with was out-of-favour Tottenham winger Lucas Moura (30). “In training, he put all of us to shame. Maxwell used to change sides in order to not be in front of him. He was impressive but, in games, he seemed flustered. We all thought he’d be a greater player than the one he became.”
According to Alex, the craziest player he played with was none other than Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi (37). The Brazilian recalled that once, whilst partying in a Parisian nightclub at 2am, Lavezzi rang PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti asking him to join them. Alex dubbed the current Real Madrid coach as his second dad. “He brought me to PSG when I was on the fringe at Chelsea. And when Dr Rolland highlighted my knee was in a bad shape, he said it won’t be a problem and assumed the risk.“
GFFN | Bastien Cheval