Chelsea's David Luiz, Willian host football stars for restaurant opening
David Luiz is making the best of his prolonged absence from the Chelsea first team, keeping himself occupied by venturing into the restaurant business.
The 31-year-old defender and Blues teammate Willian -- along with influential football advisor Kia Joorabchian -- are partners in Babbo, a new Italian restaurant that has just opened in the swanky London district of Mayfair.
Both were present at the grand opening of the establishment this week, along with other famous footballing faces including, Watford forward Richarlison, West Ham midfielder Joao Mario, Southampton full-back Cedric Soares and former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre. Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and Lazio's Felipe Anderson have also dropped by.
Chelsea stars out in force at launch of new London restaurant... as Eden Hazard cheekily asks for a free meal in message of support to his team-mates https://t.co/YH8DjoLLdm pic.twitter.com/twpmWaSOY4— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) April 25, 2018
Chelsea teammates Olivier Giroud, N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko were also in attendance, while other Blues stars recorded video messages of support for the venture; Eden Hazard capped his endorsement with a mischievous request to be granted a free meal with his family.
Luiz, currently sidelined from Chelsea duty as he recovers from a significant knee injury and out of favour with Antonio Conte after falling out with his head coach in November, celebrated his 31st birthday at Babbo on Sunday night before the opening and took an active interest in the restaurant's design.
All that remains to be seen now is whether Conte, who has sampled a wide range of Italian restaurants in west London during his time at Chelsea, will stop by for dinner...
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.