Thiago Silva: Player Profile

Brazil’s Capitain Looking To Lead The Nation To Glory

Personal information
Full name: Thiago Emiliano da Silva 
Date of birth: 22 September 1984
Age: 29 
Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 182 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position: Centre back

Club information
Current team: Paris Saint-Germain
Number: 3

Youth career 
1998: Fluminense
2000–2001: Barcelona-RJ
2001–2002: Fluminense 

Senior career
2002–2003: RS Futebol 25 Appearances, 2 goals
2003–2004: Juventude 29 Appearances, 3 goals
2004–2005: Porto 0 Appearances, 0 goals
2005–2006: Dynamo Moscow 0 Appearances, 0 goals
2006–2008: Fluminense 117 Appearances, 11 goals
2009–2012: Milan 119 Appearances, 6 goals
2012– Paris Saint-Germain 76 Appearances, 6 goals

National team
2008– Brazil 49 Appearances, 2 goals

Whenever the current Brazilian national team is mentioned, whether it be in conversation or for discussion in debate on a website or in a magazine, they are usually adorned by the same image: Neymar. He is of course an excellent player, someone with the potential to be world class in the years to come.

But whilst coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has succeeded in adding an attacking verve to the team’s style of play, his side is still very much built on the solid foundations left by predecessors Dunga and Mano Menezes. That is to say, a rock-solid defence built around the talents of captain Thiago Silva.

For Scolari, his back four picks itself. Daniel Alves and Marcelo will patrol the flanks, with Thiago Silva and David Luiz holding court in the centre. And with Luiz prone to attacking jaunts further up the field, Silva has become the rock around which Brazil’s defensive solidity is based.

Brazil kept three clean sheets during their Confederations Cup triumph last June, and a reliable back line will be of equal importance this year. At 29, this World Cup comes at the perfect time for Silva physically; he will never be in better shape to lead his country to World Cup glory, and the fact it is on home soil will make that feat all the more poignant.

As captain and leader of the next generation to emerge from Brazil, his experience of playing at the highest domestic level, gives him the right mental preparation and experience for the enormous challenge he faces at the World Cup. His standing in Europe is of the highest order; he has reportedly turned down Barcelona on more than one occasion.

But winning the World Cup as Brazil captain would mark him out as a true great of the modern era. At the turn of the year, he was named the Samba Gold winner for the third consecutive year. The award is given to the best Brazilian playing in Europe, and has previously been won by the likes of Kaka and Luis Fabiano.

The majority of the Brazil squad who will be at the FIFA World Cup later this year are plying their trade in Europe. Daniel Alves, Marcelo, Neymar and Oscar are all at clubs with genuine aspirations of landing trophies. For Thiago Silva to be picked out as the best amongst his compatriots, not only once but on three successive occasions, speaks volumes of his ability and the prestige in which he is held within world football.

At club level he has won trophies in Brazil, Italy and France, including league titles in Milan and Paris. On the international stage, the World Cup would be the cherry on the cake. But it is not all about Silva adding to his impressive trophy haul. From a team perspective, Brazil are immeasurably weaker without him in the line-up.

Over recent years, Brazil have been blessed with some exceptional defenders. The old adage of the Selecao being a tactically naive, gung-ho attacking force is a lazy stereotype. Players such as Aldair and Lucio were stalwarts in their day, ready to lead from the back and unassumingly taking on the mantle of answering the prayers of 170 million supporters at home. In Thiago Silva, Brazil have found the next in a succession of leaders.

Brazil now face Chile in the round of 16, who have waited 52 years for the chance to get revenge on the host nation. In 1962, on the only occasion the World Cup was held in Chile, the hosts were only denied a place in the final by the effervescent brilliance of Brazil, who won 4-2 on a fiery day in Santiago. Silva will be up for the challenge to hopefully better that feat with not just a victory, but a clean sheet to go with it.