PSG and Brazil centre-back Thiago Silva.
After a slow start to his career with some injury-hit spells with Porto and Dynamo Moscow, Thiago Silva has quickly become recognised as one of, if not the best defender in world football today.
The Brazilian got his big break when he moved from Fluminese to AC Milan in 2009 for £8.5million. This turned out to be a bargain for the Serie A giants, as Silva became a key player in the side, helping them to the Serie A title in his second season at the San Siro, after which he was made club captain.
Silva’s form for Milan saw him compared with one of the club’s all-time great defenders Franco Baresi, also considered by many to be among the greatest of all time. This is some compliment, but Silva certainly looks the part, and his displays quickly saw him linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
In the end, it was big-spending PSG who signed the Brazil international for £35million, making him the second most expensive defender of all time. He arrived in Paris along with his Milan team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in an ambitious summer of spending for the club. Although he was happy at Milan, he decided to make the move to help ease their financial worries, and he has gone on to find further success in French football. Silva was also made captain of PSG, and has led them to the Ligue 1 title in his first season with the club, and also impressed as they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Silva has 35 caps for Brazil and is also captain of the national team. His on-pitch leadership as well as tremendous defensive ability make him a true great of the modern game, and he would be a worthy winner of the World Cup if he can help Brazil to glory as they host the tournament next summer.