Brazil take on Belgium in a blockbuster quarter-final on Friday with Silva at the heart of their defence
Thiago Silva could lead Brazil to World Cup glory this summer with Tite’s men now the favourites for the tournament.
Brazil take on Belgium in a blockbuster quarter-final on Friday with PSG defender Silva again set to lead out the South Americans.
But things could have been very different for the 33-year-old, who had a loan spell with Dynamo Moscow back in 2005.
Then just 20, the Brazilian was loaned out from Porto’s B side to earn his stripes in Russia.
During his time with Dynamo, Silva contracted tuberculosis and spent the next six months not just fighting for his career but for his life.
Ivo Wortmann was his coach at the time and knew Silva well having worked with him at Juventude in Brazil.
And he has recalled the dark story of just how close the defender came to losing his life.
“I was devastated when I saw him. One day, the doctors told me Thiago had a hole in his lung and had to go through surgery. The risk of death was real,” Wortmann told Bleacher Report.
“They warned me ‘Do not expect him to go back to training’. It would be the end of his career. How could he run without a part of his lung?”
After a further three months of treatment, Silve eventually received the all clear to return to football.
The defender will hope to end a remarkable football story in Russia, where he came close to losing it all, this summer.