Angel Di Maria’s ‘incredible left foot’, Kylian Mbappe’s speed and Didier Drogba’s ‘physical strength’: Chelsea defender Thiago Silva names his 10 toughest EVER opponents… while giving his verdict on the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate
- In a long football career Thiago Silva has come up against the world’s best
- The Brazilian has featured for AC Milan, PSG and currently plays for Chelsea
- Silva sat down the Chelsea’s club website to go through his toughest opponents
- A Liverpool star and an ex-Man United marquee signing both make the grade
Veteran defender Thiago Silva has named the 10 most difficult opponents he has come up against during his long and storied career in football.
The Brazilian, who turns 37 later this year, has played for some of Europe’s top teams including AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain and now Chelsea, and has found himself up against the best talent on the planet season after season.
Now, after a brief recap through his glory days, Silva has complied a list of the 10 most troublesome opponents he has faced during his time on the pitch.
Silva sat down with Chelsea’s official website to muse through some of the world’s top talent, to deduce the best.
Thiago Silva already includes Kylian Mbappe in the toughest players he has ever faced
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba also made the top 10 for his ‘strength and technical skill’
Former Manchester United flop Angel Di Maria was an immediate inclusion in the list, after impressing Silva during their time together in Paris.
Likewise Kylian Mbappe, who played with the Brazilian during his final years in France, also made the grade, along with Chelsea icon Didier Drogba who Silva battled against on the Champions League stage.
Silva explained: ‘Di Maria because of his technical quality and his incredible left foot, Mbappe because of his speed and also his technical quality.
Angel Di Maria may have flopped at Manchester United but did enough in Paris to impress Silva
‘Drogba because of his physical strength despite being incredibly strong he still has a lot of technical skill.’
The Chelsea defender also opted to make a nod two three of his fellow Brazilians, with one currently plying his trade in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
Silva continued: ‘[Roberto] Firmino, he has incredible technical quality. He is very intelligent in his movement that leaves defenders a bit lost.
‘Romario because of his intelligence in the box. He’s the best I’ve seen in the box.
‘Adriano, like Drogba, he’s an incredible physical force with an unbelievable powerful left-foot penalty shot.’
Silva plays with Roberto Firmino for the Brazil team but has battled with him at Liverpool
Finishing off his list with the top four most difficult players to share a pitch with, Silva began by naming one of the most iconic and charismatic strikers to ever pull on a PSG shirt.
‘I’m going to say [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic as the fourth there because he is a guy that inspired me and I think he has inspired many kids to inspire what they are doing.
‘He was a black belt (in MMA) before he became a footballer and then after he found himself football. He’s a guy that I admire a lot. I had the chance to play with and against him and obviously he’s the fourth best in my list.
‘Neymar because of his class, intelligence and magic. He is a player that impresses me with his technical quality and his ability to create out of nowhere.
Silva also named Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who he played with for both AC Milan and later PSG
‘Cristiano [Ronaldo] because of his professionalism, his dedication and passion for football. He is a guy I really admire for his commitment and for everything he has achieved.
‘[Lionel] Messi, because he has incredible quality and a God-given gift and because of the professional he is. For me he is the best,’ Silva added.