‘Thiago Silva has shown he is weak mentally’

The Brazil international has been criticised for his attitude and recent comments regarding the installation of Neymar as the Selecao’s new captain

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil centre-back Thiago Silva has been branded mentally weak by former France international Eric Di Meco.

The 30-year-old was captain of the Selecao team that suffered humiliation on their own turf at the 2014 World Cup, and his position was called into debate as he ruled himself out of taking a penalty in the last 16 shoot-out against Chile before being pictured sat away from the rest of the group in tears.

Following the appointment of Dunga as coach of the Selecao, Thiago Silva has been replaced as skipper by Neymar.

The defender subsequently revealed his frustration that the Barcelona forward had not discussed the change with him, and his comments have been received badly ex-Marseille man Di Meco.

“He did not have a good World Cup, but I was impressed by his debut season at PSG,” he told RMC Sport.

“A clean player who never fouls, always well placed, with a good recovery. He really was one of the best defenders in the world.

“And after the World Cup, I thought he would return to what he had been. But then these statements show that he is really very weak mentally.

“In top-level sport, when you are weak mentally… I thought he was stronger than that. The great players know you go through tough times when things are not good.”

The centre-back has not featured for Brazil since the World Cup and the Selecao, who have not conceded in their last five games, face Austria in their latest friendly on Tuesday.

He has, however, made peace with Neymar publicly and claims his initial quotes were misunderstood by the media.