The man heralded with the task of sorting out our back four, Thiago Silva has officially signed a one-year contract today, with the option for a further season. An experienced centre-back who just recently captained PSG to a Champions League final has always been spoken about as one of the world’s best. I’ll be taking a dive into his career so far and looking at what we can expect from the Brazilian.
Silva first really burst onto the scene at Brazilian club Juventude where he only played for six months, but caught the eye of many. He was included in the team of the season and voted the third best defender in the league eventually leading to a move to Portuguese club Porto. Things never really kicked on at Porto as he was mainly left to play with the reserves and ended up going on loan to Dynamo Moscow where things took a turn for the worse. Silva was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and hospitalised for six months. His illness got worse and worse as time went on to the point doctors have said had he still been hospitalised for an extra two weeks, he would have died. This shock to his life led to him retiring from football completely before being persuaded to return by his mother and former coach Ivo Wortmann.
Ivo Wortmann ended up bringing Silva to Fluminense, where despite the team’s poor results, finishing 15th out of 20 teams, Silva was looked at as one of the best in the league. 2007 was a much better time for Silva as Fluminense finished 4th in the league with the best defensive record as well as winning the Copa do Brasil for the 1st time in their history. Silva started every game during the tournament and scored vital goals in the quarter and semi-finals leading to a call up to the Brazilian national team from head coach Dunga.
Silva continued to push on in 2008 even if Fluminense began to falter. He was awarded a shirt and plaque with his achievements after playing his 100th game for the club and even had fans unveil a flag with a picture of him painted on to it during a match to show their love and support for what he had brought to the team. He was voted into the team of the season and also fans’ player of the season in what was his last with Fluminense.
He joined AC Milan for £9 million at the end of 2008 and made an impact straight away drawing praise from Paolo Maldini who said Silva had ‘Physical and technical characteristics of a champion’. He was quickly rated the third best centre-back in Serie A at the end of the 2009-10 season. The following season, he claimed the Scudetto with Milan as well as being named Milan’s player of the season and best defender in the league by Italian media. During this period many top teams in Europe were keeping an eye on the player as he was making quite the name for himself.
More silverware and individual honours were added as Milan won the Italian Super Cup and Silva was named in the UEFA team of the year whilst also being shortlisted for the Fifpro world XI. With all this hype around him, it was only a matter of time before a big money move came about and that’s exactly what happened in the summer of 2012 when he joined PSG for around £38 million.
PSG was where Silva enjoyed the most of his success winning countless trophies. This included 7x Ligue 1 titles, 5x French cups, 6x French league cups and 7x French Super cups. Silva joined PSG at the same time as Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic and this was seen as a massive power move by the club to become one of the world’s biggest teams by securing one of the best defenders at the time. He would go to show his class in France being named in the team of the year on seven different occasions. As mentioned previously, his time at PSG was very successful with all the titles the team won and coming close to adding their first Champions league title and completing a treble, however, this wasn’t to be in what was Silvas’ final game for the club.
It wasn’t just at club level where Silva flourished, he currently has 89 caps for the Brazilian national team. In 2008, he played for the Brazilian Olympics team picking up a bronze medal. Although he never quite managed to help Brazil win a world cup, he did win a Confederations Cup in 2013 and a Copa America in 2019, two titles he holds in high prestige.
It’s clear to see that Thiago Silva is a serial winner and someone who with his years of experience is just what we need in our backline at the moment. Whether it was individually or for a team, Silva has always come out on top throughout his career and I’m sure will be keen this continues even at the ripe age of 35 as he embarks on his new adventure in West London.