Premier League

Alex - There's more to come

Brazilian says Blues captain is the best

Alex: Highly-praised

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Chelsea defender Alex insists he has more to give following an injury-plagued Premier League season last term.

"I'm strong, I'm comfortable on the ball and when I'm fit I'm as quick as any player on the pitch."

Chelsea defender Alex.

Quotes of the week

Known as "The Tank" or "Grenade Launcher" by his team-mates, last season the tough-tackling centre-half battled through a painful foot injury and hernia problem to stand at the heart of the Blues' defence.

However the 27-year-old said he can give more and wants to help Chelsea remain at the top of the Premier League table.

"I was in a lot of pain last season," he told the Daily Mail.

"I was playing but not training, and I was also missing games for Brazil. Just so I could recover, have treatment and be ready for Chelsea.

"The last four months of the season did go well for me, and people at Chelsea finally saw what I could offer. But it wasn't perfect because of the injury.

"There is more I can give."

Lucrative

The Brazilian is one of Chelsea's lucrative signings after they paid Santos, his original club, a 'sizeable undisclosed fee' but then bought him from PSV for just one pound.

And the defender has been the subject of high praise since his move two years ago, particularly from former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink who said Alex was the best centre-half in Europe.

"It was nice of them to say those things but I don't know," he said.

"But I'm strong, I'm comfortable on the ball and when I'm fit I'm as quick as any player on the pitch."

Alex also paid tribute to new boss Carlo Ancelotti's tough fitness regime, the coaching staff at Chelsea and captain Frank Lampard.

"You can't hide (in training). They are checking on you every day, and they show you the figures," he said.

Big impact

"Psychologically it has had a big impact because everyone is worried they haven't run as far as the next guy.

"Frank Lampard is incredible. The best. He runs and runs in training and he plays every game."

On Ancelotti he added: "As a coach he has shown to us that he has real ability and in his first season in the Premier League he has already come up against some hard tests and passed them."

Watch Chelsea take on Manchester United live on Sky Sports 1 and HD 1 from 3.30pm.