Thiago Silva made history as he helped Brazil cruise to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in their 4-1 win over South Korea.
Brazil were the strong favourites going into this game and many expected it to be just another match en route to the Selecao claiming a sixth World Cup trophy. Even the late defeat to Cameroon in their final group stage game could not arrest their momentum or stop them from topping Group G as expected.
That isn’t to disrespect South Korea, but they weren’t even being tipped to make it to the last 16 such was the toughness of their own group, placed alongside Portugal, Uruguay and Ghana. In the end, South Korea did get through by the skin of their teeth, bettering third-placed Uruguay on goals scored. But their World Cup journey would come to an end at the hands of another South American side and there really wasn’t much of a contest.
It took just seven minutes for Brazil to take the lead on Monday night, with Raphinha causing terror on the right before sending the ball across goal for Vinicius. Avoiding calls to hit it first time, Vinicius took a touch to compose himself and cooly finished past the goalkeeper and three South Korean defenders to put his side ahead.
Less than 10 minutes later, Neymar made it 2-0 from the penalty spot to move within one of Pele’s all-time record for Brazil, his sixth consecutive spot-kick goal for the national team. But Brazil’s class really shone through in their third goal.
After South Korea failed to properly clear Casemiro’s ball into the box, Richarlison took the ball down expertly with the standard Brazilian flair — a couple of seal juggles with his head and then a few keepy ups — before passing to centre-back Marquinhos on the edge of the South Korea box. Marquinhos then found his centre-back partner Thiago Silva in the middle of the D — yes, both Brazilian centre-backs were in extremely attacking positions — and the Chelsea man played a beautiful first-time pass back to Richarlison who made it 3-0. Brazilian football at its best.
While Richarlison was the man to finish the move, it was all about Silva, who made a bit of history in setting up the Tottenham striker. At the age of 38 years and 74 days old, not only is Silva the oldest player to record an assist at the 2022 World Cup, but he is also the oldest assist provider on record at the men’s World Cup (since 1966).
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Before Silva, Cameroon legend Roger Milla was the oldest player to provide an assist, doing so at Italia ’90 aged 38 years and 42 days. Nobody was surprised to see Silva turning on the style given how he has aged like fine wine, being Chelsea’s best centre-back by some distance since joining in 2020/21, but there was still a lot of love for the Brazilian flying around social media.
What an assist from Thiago Silva btw. ?
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 5, 2022
Ooohhhh Thiago Siiiiilvaaaaa
— Jody Morris (@JodyMorris) December 5, 2022
I had absolutely no idea Thiago Silva played that ball to Richarlison.
Ridiculous assist from a ridiculous player. One of the very, very best. #BRA
— Olivia Buzaglo (@OliviaBuzaglo) December 5, 2022
Thiago Silva is a master of deception with body feints and dummies.
He buys himself so much time and space by moving his body like dangling spaghetti.
— Jam (@Carefree_Jam) December 5, 2022
Thiago Silva masterclass
— Vitera (@vitaoholiveira) December 5, 2022
A very composed defender who plays better than some young players.
What an assist from Thiago Silva, the minister of defense. pic.twitter.com/l8nh9MwiC1
— Francis (@OnyedumFrancis) December 5, 2022
How can Thiago Silva at 38 be performing consistently at the highest level? Needs a GOAT shout. Remember Brazil hasn’t conceded a goal in the World Cup when he plays! ?????
— Kofi Denzel 14???? (@StvrDenzel) December 5, 2022
Thiago Silva easily one of the best I’ve seen on the ball. He’s so fake. Through ball for Richarlison with ease.
— Jay (@Eyedontmind_) December 5, 2022
A 38yo Thiago Silva putting on a masterclass in the #FIFAWorldCup but nobody has talked about him because he is a defender.
One of the greatest of all time??❤️ pic.twitter.com/4ZHXy4SP7A
— UtdTruthful (@Utdtruthful) December 5, 2022
Thiago Silva is just insane isn’t he….
— Angie ?? (@angie_cfc) December 5, 2022
Brazil have now reached the World Cup quarter-finals in each of the past eight tournaments and face Croatia on Friday hoping to make it to their first semi-final since 2014.