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Thiago Emiliano da Silva (born 22 September 1984), known as Thiago Silva, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Premier League club Chelsea and the Brazil national team.
- Messi is a very quick and technically gifted player. When you face him you have to make decisions in an instant. When he approaches you, you have to make the sign of the cross and pray that everything will be alright.
- Interview with Globo Esporte, 2011 
- I learned a lot with Paolo Maldini who helped me with defensive positioning and the importance of respecting tactical schemes.
- Interview with Sambafoot, 2012 
- I am very happy to be considered as one of the best defenders in the world and to be mentioned alongside great footballers. It's a great satisfaction to have reached this level at this moment in my career. I know that things will get tougher soon, but I will continue to work hard to be able to maintain this level of performance.
- Interview with Surgiu Esporte, 2014 
About Thiago Silva
From former and current footballers
- Certainly, Thiago shows that security that characterised Franco [Baresi] when he used to play. For one reason or another, when Baresi came off during the break or during the game, we all felt his loss and I think the same thing is happening now with Thiago, because he gives so much security at the back.
- He’s very elegant, he commits few fouls because he’s always first to every ball and this is an important gift. He’s also fast and has good technique and these are important skills for a defender. Italian football puts players to the test and he immediately showed he was up to the task and ready to play for Milan, at the San Siro. Playing with the kind of continuity he had this season proves he really belongs to the elite.
- This year, Thiago had an excellent season playing at Baresi’s level, but Franco had several fantastic seasons, not only one or two, but 15 or 16 and I think that at the moment this is the only difference between the two.
- I think that Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world. It is incredible how good he really is. Thiago Silva is part of a new generation of phenomenal players who are perhaps born once every 100 years.
- Paolo Maldini who is here with us tonight was a player at the level of Franco Baresi, but Thiago is up there too.
- It’s difficult to identify where he can still improve. He has already proven to have everything.
- It is not blasphemous to compare Thiago Silva to Franco Baresi. With all due respect to Franco, who was a sacred monster, but Thiago Silva is just as phenomenal.
- You can't say 'I'll sell Silva and buy a similar player'. There are no similar players around, only worse ones.
- In the world, today, Thiago Silva is the only defender who can change the outcome of a match.
- There are many good defenders that I have played against, but the most difficult one would have to be Thiago Silva.
- The hardest defender I have ever come up against? The guy at AC Milan, Thiago Silva. He's absolutely faultless.
- At 28, he has a lot of experience and he helps us a lot. He is also a brilliant player - in my opinion he is PSG's best player - and the way he brings the ball out of defence is superb. He's even played a few games in midfield, which shows just what a good footballer he is. For me, he's the best defender in the world.
- I can say that Thiago Silva has no rival in his position. He is by far the best defender in the world. It’s a compliment for me to be compared to him.
- Thiago Silva is currently the reference in my position, so it's flattering (to be compared to him).
- For me, Thiago Silva is one of the best defenders of all time. We can talk about Baresi, Maldini, and Beckenbauer. They won a lot; we cannot discuss the honours they have won. But Silva's quality, his personality, his tranquility [on the pitch]. Honestly, I've never seen a defender as complete as him.
- Simply the best defender in the world. Whenever he is on the pitch, his presence reassures the others, from the goalkeeper to the attackers.
- I have played with many fantastic central defenders — Thuram, Cannavaro, Piqué, Puyol — but Silva is like all of them put together.
- He makes it look easy. It was not for nothing that PSG spent €50 million [actually €42 million] to secure his services. He is a defender who imposes his strength, his heading, his anticipation. He is 'Mr. Clean' and in addition to that, he is a real leader!
- He is already among the best defenders in the history of Brazil, alongside Mozer, Julio Cesar and Aldair. If he wins the World Cup next year he will become the greatest of all time. He is already the best defender in PSG's history.
- I have rarely seen such a complete and strong central defender. I am amazed. He seldom makes mistakes. What strikes me the most, is his calmness, especially in his distribution and marking.
- He is the Messi of defenders. The question is no longer if he is the best defender in the world, because he is quite simply one of the best players in the world — better than Cannavaro when he won the Ballon D'Or.
- Thiago Silva is a classy defender, you know that if you put him on the field, he will not commit any fault, any error.
- He is the best defender in the world. Before moving to Europe, I watched a lot of matches of Thiago Silva at Milan, and I am inspired by him.
- I think Thiago Silva is currently the best defender in the world. He has exceptional qualities, he can defend well, attack well, he is always well focused. He is always in the right place at the right time. He is very serious.
- Thiago Silva is without doubt the best central defender in the world. He has incredible qualities. He is a symbol of elegance like Franz Beckenbauer was. Silva follows in his footsteps.
- I have worked with [Carlos] Gamarra, with [Elías] Figueroa, but Thiago is better than the both of them.
- In Serie A the best are Chiellini and Bonucci. They always know what to do. The best in the world is Thiago Silva.
- For me, Thiago has always been a reference, he is a born competitor. I consider him one of the best defenders in the world.
- I have the opportunity to see what a great player he is. I already had him as a reference when I was younger. Today, that's even more the case after having met him. He's really a leader and he works a lot. He always wants the best for his teammates by thinking a lot about the collective before thinking about him.
- The captain! O Monstro! He's impressive, He's one of the two best in the world with Sergio Ramos. You could add Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci but they need each other, while Thiago Silva is strong with anyone. He's a captain who talks a lot in the dressing room. Marquinhos takes advantage of having Thiago Silva beside him. He's lucky to be developing with a player like that. Now he has become one of the best.
From coaches and club directors
- He's the best defender in the world, three levels above the others.
- Thiago Silva is a top player, who has played at a very high level. Top clubs hardly ever lose that type of player.
- No one has the concentration, the speed, the heading or the sense of anticipation he has. He's on track to become the next Maldini.
- He is very strong at defending, both on the ground and in the air. He is a complete player and has no faults. He is a modern defender because he is as strong defensively as many others, but has something more than the rest. When he has the ball, he knows what to do.
- Silva is complete, without any fault. He's the modern defender because he is so good defensively amongst many other things.
- He is already in the category of Baresi, Sammer and anyone else you want to name. Ultimately what he wins will decide where he ranks, but his qualities make him stronger than all of them.
- He is incredibly quick with his play. He is almost unbeatable in one-on-one situations. He has so many qualities that he can play in midfield, free in front of the defence. He would be incredible [there], but he will not do that because he wants to stay in his position.
- He has the quickness, he has the ability on the ball. Thiago Silva is an incredible player and extremely intelligent.