From being the scapegoat for a Brazilian disaster against Germany on home soil to stand-out performer in Russia, Thiago Silva is back in business
Brazilian fans were generally feeling confident about winning the 2014 World Cup on home soil, prior to the wipeout against Germany in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte. But these high expectations only made the disappointment even bigger, which resulted in huge anger against the team in general and a couple of individuals in specific. Thiago Silva, who had missed the historical defeat, was one of the easiest targets for the media. So where does he stand, four years after this incident?
Thiago Silva was unfairly scapegoated for Brazil’s World Cup disappointment, for shedding tears against Chile in the penalty shootout in the round of 16, although almost everyone else did too, including Neymar. But that was considered okay as none of the others were wearing the captain’s armband.
However, most missed the essential point that Thiago’s performances on the road to the semi-finals were almost impeccable, as he had not committed any blunders that led to a goal. Actually, the opposite happened. The goal he scored against Colombia in the quarter-final turned out to be decisive in helping Brazil go through, otherwise the game could have been quite different. He stood up during the tough moments on the pitch, and that was what he needed to do.
Admittedly, Silva did not seem like the ideal captain against Chile, but at least his presence on the pitch brought a lot of leadership during games. That was something which was evidently absent in the match that he missed against Germany. And the rest, is of course, history. However, Brazilian press managed to bring everyone out against the former Seleção captain, who would have to deal with nonstop criticism for the next four years.
However, when Tite took charge of the national team back in 2016, he decided to slowly reintegrate Thiago Silva back in the squad, before eventually making him a lock in the starting lineup, just in time for the 2018 World Cup. The Paris Saint Germain captain was one of Brazil’s top performers, as well as one of the best defenders in the whole competition, pulling out strong defensive displays and even managing to find the net against Serbia in a group game. Just like in 2014, Thiago Silva did not commit any defensive blunders that cost Brazil. His partnership with Internazionale centre-back João Miranda looked impeccable.
Brazil has not captured the Copa América since 2007, and the next edition is set to take place on home soil in 2019. There is absolutely no reason as to why Brazil should not prioritize this competition. It is important to regain that winning mentality as the mental strength required to win a major tournament is much more than coming good in friendlies or even qualifiers. Brazil needs to get back on the right track and nothing would top winning the South American tournament next year.
It is worth noting that the USA will host yet another edition of Copa América in 2020, which would host teams from across the whole of the Américas, as was the case in the centenary edition back in 2016. Taking all that into consideration, the ideal solution is to take Brazil’s best defender, Thiago Silva, to guide Brazil’s back-line in 2019 and quite possibly finish his national team career on a high with a second trophy, and then send a ‘B’ team composed of fresher blood in the following year.