For Chelsea captain Thiago Silva, Tuesday night's Champions League defeat to Real Madrid may have marked his final appearance in the famous competition.
The Brazilian centre-back will turn 39 in September and, with Chelsea now all but out of contention for European football - let alone top four - it is unlikely he will get another opportunity to play European Cup football.
The veteran defender has been one of the club's most reliable performers over the past few seasons, even this year as the team around him have floundered during the chaos of American Todd Boehly's ownership.
In the aftermath of Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, Silva became one of the first Chelsea players to speak up about how the club has been run this season.
Thiago Silva questions transfer policies of Chelsea ownership
Chelsea exited the Champions League this week looking a complete shadow of the team which won the competition only two years ago.
Over €500million spent on transfers has not materialised in good results, with big money signings like Marc Cucurella and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proving to be disappointments as the team languish in 11th place in the Premier League, having finished third last season.
The abrupt dumping of huge funds in the transfer market came after the arrival of Todd Boehly as owner late last season, and it's safe to say it has not delivered results.
Speaking to the media from Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, captain Thiago Silva questioned the wisdom of adding so aggressively to such a stacked squad, saying it had damaged the team's morale.
When someone like Thiago Silva speaks out like this, the Chelsea owner needs to listen. The club is a mess and a lot of it is down to Todd Boehly #CFC pic.twitter.com/NY4CXSk2EL
— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) April 19, 2023
I think the first step has been made - an incorrect step, but it has been made. We can't be blaming the managers if we don't take responsibility. It's a hard period for the club with a lot of indecision - change of ownership, new players arriving...we had to increase the size of the changing room because it didn't fit the size of the squad.
A positive point is that there are amazing players in the squad. But, on the other hand, there are always players that are going to be unhapy. There is always going to be someone upset because not everyone can play, the manager can only pick 11 from a squad of 30-something - that's tough.
Some can't make the squad, we signed eight in January, we need to stop and put a strategy in place. Otherwise, next season we could make the same mistakes.
Thiago Silva is under contract for at least one more season with Chelsea, as he plays out the final seasons of an illustrious career in disappointing surroundings in West London.
The comments made on Tuesday night are sure to rattle the Chelsea ownership, who are also facing major questions over the wisdom of their re-appointment of Frank Lampard as manager. Lampard, who was sacked by Chelsea in early 2021, has returned and overseen four defeats in his first four matches, as Chelsea linger closer to the relegation zone than to the top four.