World Cup player profile: Thiago Silva
Name: Thiago Silva
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Caps [goals]: 45 
Thiago Silva was an unused reserve in South Africa four years ago, but is now indispensable. The PS-G defender, who is widely regarded as the best in the world in his position, will captain Brazil this time around. His composed, yet decisive approach has earned him that recognition and he will be expected to be a cornerstone for the Seleção, as he was in their Confederations Cup victory last summer.
Why has he been selected?
Aside from being Brazil’s best defender, Silva is a point of reference. He may not be the most vocal, but his instructions are specific and he leads by example. Only injury could have kept him out.
How has he played this season?
Silva has captained PS-G to the Ligue 1 title, the Trophée des Champions and the Coupe de la Ligue. Injuries have, however, limited him to 28 appearances domestically, though he’s ended the campaign strongly.
What will his role be in Brazil?
Injury and suspension permitting, Silva will be expected to play every minute for Brazil. His role will be to ensure the defence remains organised and compact, while he’ll need to keep the maverick David Luiz - his likely central defensive partner - focused and in position. Silva, along with Neymar, is Brazil’s most important player.