Rio de Janeiro, Feb 12 (IANS) Former Brazil captain Thiago Silva has not given up hope of reclaiming a starting berth for the national football squad during this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The 33-year-old centre-back has been a peripheral figure for Brazil since his handball gifted a penalty to Paraguay in the 2015 Copa America quarter-finals, which the team lost on spot kicks, reports Xinhua news agency.
The current incumbents in the middle of Brazil's defence are Silva's Paris Saint-Germain teammate Marquinhos and Inter Milan's Miranda.
"They are both playing very well and are making very few mistakes," Silva told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. "But I don't think anybody has a guaranteed starting position in Brazil's national team.
"I know what my potential is and the other players know theirs. I just have to work hard every day and then the opportunities will come," the former AC Milan player added.
Brazil enter the June 14 to July 15 tournament as the favourites after losing just one of their 18 South American zone qualifiers.
But they will need to overcome the harrowing memory of the World Cup on home soil four years ago, when they suffered a humiliating 1-7 semi-final loss to Germany.
"There is no way to forget what happened in 2014," said Silva, who missed the match against the eventual champions because of suspension.
"Even if we win the World Cup, we can't erase what happened. What we can do is minimize the effects of it, if we manage to achieve our dream of being champions."
Despite his absence against Germany in Belo Horizonte, Silva was criticised by sections of the Brazilian media after the tournament.
Some questioned his temperament after he wept openly as Brazil prepared for their penalty shootout with Chile in the round of 16, which the hosts won.
"People tried to make me quit football," Silva said. "They talked a lot about what happened (the tears) without bothering to look at the human side. But that's normal in football. Everybody has an opinion," he added.