The embarrassment of talent riches that is Brazil soccer needs no less evidence than Thiago Silva’s lack of playing time for the Canarinho.
Silva, 30, was part of the Brazil set-up for the World Cup this summer, but was not in the lineup that lost to Germany 7-1 in the World Cup semifinal thanks to yellow card accumulation. Still, he has yet to play under new coach Dunga.
And Brazil has yet to lose, going 5-0 since their home nation dip in form completed with a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third place game.
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But Silva didn’t see this coming, losing his captaincy for country to Neymar (a position he still holds at high-powered club Paris Saint-Germain). He remains one of the best defenders in the world, but is a casualty for the Little Canary.
“Sincerely, I didn’t expect this,” Silva said, ahead of Brazil’s friendly with Austria on Tuesday.
“But I think we must be prepared for everything, somehow, even if I thought I was going to come and play. I have to be ready to be on the bench also.
“We have quality players, like David Luiz and Miranda, so I knew that it was going to be hard, but I didn’t expect to be dropped. But it’s part of football and I’m ready to fight for my place back.”
The absence is likely just Dunga rolling with the players who have him on a hot streak, winners of five in a row all by clean sheet against high-profile opponents Colombia, Argentina, Japan, Ecuador and Turkey. Still, could Silva be out even after a loss? It’s hard to believe, but if Dunga keeps winning he’ll be able to do whatever he wants.