Just a week ago, David Luiz was on top of the world of football: the former Chelsea star had been sold to PSG for £50 million just before the World Cup, and had just scored a belting free-kick to put Brazil into the World Cup semi-finals.
Then, on Tuesday night, the greatest moment of all: leading his country out as captain in that semi-final, with Thiago Silva's suspension meaning that Luiz had the opportunity to lead a nation of 200 million people into the World Cup final.
Less than half-an-hour later his dreams had evaporated: Brazil were 5-0 down, out of the tournament, and Luiz's failures in defence were already being pinpointed as the chief problem:
PSG owners searching for David Luiz receipt pic.twitter.com/FS3JrVisCT
— BigPapa (@BigPapaAMIR) July 8, 2014
Luiz gave a tearful apology to his country after the match, blubbing as he told the world that, "I just wanted to see my people smile."
And as so often happens, a chink of light appeared just at his darkest moment. Nine-year-old Ana Luz saw the Brazil defender on TV, and was so moved by him that she wrote him a letter telling him that "you don't need to be sad". It's a wonderful, touching message that Luiz then shared with the world via Instagram:
Here's the English translation, courtesy of our colleagues over at Dirty Tackle:
"Hi David Luiz,
My name is Ana Luz.
I saw all of the Brazil games in the World Cup and I liked it a lot watching you play.
I think that you don't need to be sad because you played well and did the best you could. You were a great captain.
Life is like this, sometimes people lose and sometimes people win but people only need to be happy.
David Luiz, you are my champion.
Ana Luz Penna Reale"
The defender wrote a message back to little Ana:
"Many thanks Princess Ana, loved your letter! And many thanks to all Brazilians for the support. I'll never give up my dreams, and I will always strive to give back all the love I receive! God bless you all!"
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- David Luiz