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Gary Neville in awe of “unbelievable” Chelsea star after his team’s World Cup qualification

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Neymar Jr and Thiago Silva for Brazil.

Gary Neville impressed by Chelsea star Thiago Silva in Brazil’s World Cup win

Speaking to ITV as quoted by Metro, Manchester United legend Gary Neville was left awed by the performance put in by Chelsea star Thiago Silva in his nation’s 1-0 win over Switzerland which saw them qualify for the round of 16 of the World Cup with a game to spare.

The ageless Silva had a masterclass in defence leading the Brazil backline with so much command and keeping the pacy and tricky Breel Embolo in check. It sometimes is ridiculous to think how consistent the Blues defender is at 38 years of age.

It is especially impressive when you consider how high a line Brazil like to play in defence. Generally, teams that like to push up tend to have a pacy centre-back who can cover the space left behind and Thiago Silva is anything but a pacy player.

However, what the Brazilian lacks in speed, he makes up for with exceptional defensive awareness and positioning. Thiago Silva is a master at cutting out attacks at source and now playing in his fourth World Cup, Silva seems as sharp as ever.

The 38-year-old has played the full 90 minutes in both of Brazil’s games this World Cup and has a 93% passing accuracy playing out from the back. He has also completed 67% of his long passes which is really useful considering how often Tite’s side switch the play from side to side.

Two clean sheets in two games is a great record at the World Cup and one of the main reasons for this is the Chelsea veteran. Along with Marquinhos, Brazil have one of the most enviable defensive partnerships among all the teams in the event and have Eder Militao to call up in case of an eventuality.

Thiago Silva is rock solid for Brazil (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Thiago Silva is rock solid for Brazil (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Speaking about the Chelsea star, Neville could not believe how well Silva was playing at his age and was baffled at his consistency.

“They push up the pitch unbelievably. I don’t know how Thiago Silva at his age is still pushing up that pitch.  think back at my career, to get in front of your forward all the time, to try and win it, is one of the hardest that you try and do – he’s still doing that late into his thirties – it’s unbelievable”

Silva has a contract with Chelsea until 2023 (Transfermarkt) although going by how he is performing, it will definitely not be a surprise to see him play one if not two more seasons at the Bridge. The Blues will have no qualms about extending his contract if the player agrees to it.

Having already secured qualification to the next round in the World Cup, it will not be a surprise to see Silva being given a rest in their final group game against Cameroon. Although knowing the Chelsea defender, he will want to continue playing.

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Silva continues to be rock solid for Brazil and will be key to their chances for success in this World Cup. Let’s see how he plays when the Selecao face tougher challenges on their way to potential glory.

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