World Cup: Chelsea’s Thiago Silva hailed after Brazil beat Switzerland | Football

38-year-old Thiago Silva is still going strong for Brazil and Chelsea (Photo: Getty)

Gary Neville has hailed Chelsea star Thiago Silva following his superb performance in Brazil’s 1-0 win over Switzerland in the World Cup.

Brazil left it late at the Stadium 974 in Qatar, but a wonderful goal from Manchester United’s Casemiro was enough to seal the three points and qualify for the knockout stage.

While Switzerland put up a stern defence, offensively they offered nothing with Brazil’s brilliant back-line ensuring that goalkeeper Alisson barely had to do anything for the 90 minutes.

While Brazil’s attacking superstars often make the headlines, it was the defenders that caught Neville’s eye on Monday evening, especially Silva.

A Selecao’s captain is still going strong at the age of 38 and remains a vital part of Tite’s side despite strong competition from younger centre-backs.

Discussing Brazil’s overall performance, Neville told ITV: ‘We see Pep Guardiola in the Premier League changing the face of football in the last ten years in that we demand 60%, 70% possession from the best teams.

‘Every coach wants that. We demand incredible football players technically gifted players on the pitch but they also have to keep clean sheets. They’re also brilliant defensively.

‘Not just that, they push up the pitch unbelievably. I don’t know how Thiago Silva at his age is still pushing up that pitch.

‘I 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.’

With 111 appearances to his name, Silva is Brazil’s fifth most-capped player of all-time, behind fellow legends Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Dani Alves and Neymar.

A serial winner at AC Milan and PSG, many assumed that Silva would be past his best when he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2020, but he has proven to be just as good as ever, winning the Champions League with Chelsea last year.

With Brazil’s place in the round-of-16 booked, Silva may just be rested for their final Group G game against Cameroon on Friday.

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