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Brazil Open the 2014 World Cup with a Victory

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Milan's greatest loss reminds how good he really is.

Warren Little

It was interesting match for the 2014 World Cup.  Kovac's technically gifted Croatia didn't seem at all bothered by the magnitude of the situation.  In fact leading up to the Marcelo own goal it looked as though the flood gates would open.  Dani Alves was nowhere to be found in defense and Croatia dominated his flank.  A Marcelo own goal from a well worked Modric run of play shocked the hosts but also ignited them.

It was from then on Brazil poured it on and the match opened up, but something else happen.  Thiago Silva happened!  Brazil's midfield, from a balance aspect, was nowhere to be found.  Luiz was a bit of a space cadet but enter Silva! Who just like at AC Milan was a sweeper style CB at times appearing to cover his own space like he was two people.  He was a calming presence and tactical one.  Moving the ball forward and connecting the space in the midfield where it seemed few players wanted to operate for Brazil.  This will be a problem going forward but Silva made it non-existent on this day.

The former Milan CB wore the number 3 jersey with a pride and elegance that I am sure even Il Capitano himself could admire.  Losing Zlatan was one thing, but losing Silva was devastating and performances like this one show just that.  His ability to create from the back, defend with intelligence, and keep calm under immense pressure makes him for me the best CB in the World.  Big praise and to help a team who steps on the pitch with no desire to defend makes him even more of a hero.  He won't get the love or spotlight of a Neymar or Oscar but those who know football will know if he hoists the World Cup he was a HUGE factor.