Rio Ferdinand says Brazil World Cup star is 'world's best centre back'

Ex Manchester United man claims Paris Saint-Germain stopper Thiago Silva, a previous transfer target of Manchester City and Barcelona, is the best.

Former Manchester United and England mainstay Rio Ferdinand, 35, believes Thiago Silva is currently the world's best centre back.

Silva, 29-years-old and of Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain, is entering his prime years as a defender. At 6ft 1in and 12 stones and nine pounds (roughly the size of a super middleweight boxer like Carl Froch), Silva is physically-adept at handling aerial balls toward tall centre forwards, while also astute enough to intercept balls at ground-level.

In Champions League football for PSG last season, the Brazilian was responsible for completing a defensive action (interception, block, tackle and clearance) once every eight minutes, an extraordinary statistic when compared to other accomplished centre backs like John Terry (completes a defensive action once every 10.5 minutes in Champions League football on average).

  NationMatchTouchPass AccTackleClearDuel WonAerial WonInt'ceptFoulsAppMin
Thiago Silva Brazil Vs Croatia 80 92.8% 1 6 4 3 1 0 1 90

In the World Cup tournament currently ongoing in Brazil, Silva has already performed commendably, receiving an extraordinarily high (for a centre back) 80 touches on the ball while returning a 93% passing accuracy in his one match against Croatia. He also completed one tackle, one interception, six clearances, was dominant at ground level and also in the air.

A defensive leader, Silva has been likened to Franco Baresi, with the Italian even talking up the analogy. Quick on his feet, Silva is tactically astute, has exceptional positional sense and is a fine reader of the game. The cleanliness in his work is also underlined by the fact that he is rarely booked - and against Croatia he was not even guilty of giving away a foul.

Ferdinand now has added his voice to those who laud Silva as unrivalled in the modern game: "I'm looking forward to watching Thiago Silva again tonight, [he is] today's world's best centre back!

Valued by at £35 million, PSG are unlikely to be willing to listen to offers for their stalwart any time soon, however, teams like Manchester City and Barcelona have been linked recently.

Brazil continue their World Cup campaign this evening as they take on Mexico at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. The Selecao look to double their points advantage in Group A having already banked three due to their 3-1 trumping of Croatia, last week.

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