Soccer-Chelsea players must set ego aside for success next season, says Silva

Soccer Football - Premier League - Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton, Britain - May 15, 2024 Chelsea's Thiago Silva celebrates after the match REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) - Chelsea players must prioritize teamwork over their personal ambitions to achieve success next season, departing defender Thiago Silva said ahead of his last match at Stamford Bridge after four years at the Premier League club.

The 39-year-old Brazil international, who will return to his hometown club Fluminense in the close season, urged the Chelsea squad to make their efforts worthwhile as the current season's results have fallen short of the club's high standards.

Chelsea, in sixth place, underperformed this season despite spending over 400 million pounds ($508 million) to bring in 13 new players last year.

"I hope (the players) understand that everything they did to get to Chelsea has to be worth it," Silva told Sky Sports. "Because the season we're having is not worthy of Chelsea. I think they need to do more next year.

"These boys need to be aware that Chelsea has to fight for (for trophies) in the top positions. If we take a little of our ego and put it in favour of the team, I think it will work.

"If we don't do that, the situation will hardly change, unfortunately."

Injuries and a young team's inconsistent form were blamed as the twice Champions League winners languished in the middle of the table, but manager Mauricio Pochettino's big-money squad has shown potential in recent weeks, quickly climbing up the standings.

Pochettino's side host Bournemouth in Sunday's final day game of the season, on the back of four consecutive wins, having lost one league match in their last 14.

Chelsea have a three point advantage over Newcastle United, in seventh place, and could finish fifth with a win on Sunday combined with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur losing at Sheffield United. ($1 = 0.7875 pounds)

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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