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Brazil bank on best friends for firm World Cup backbone
May 30, 2014 / 10:09 PM / in 3 years

Brazil bank on best friends for firm World Cup backbone

TERESOPOLIS Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil are betting on defensive partners and best friends David Luiz and Thiago Silva to protect their sterling record at the back as they go into the World Cup finals next month.

Brazil's national soccer team player David Luiz (C) talks with Fred (R) as Ramires observes, before a training session in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janeiro May 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

The two men have formed a formidable partnership under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Brazil conceded three goals in their five Confederations Cup games last year and have won seven of their eight matches since, giving away only three more.

The pairing is one of the reasons Brazil are favorites to win a record sixth World Cup and David Luiz said part of their understanding is because the two men, who will play together next season at Paris St-Germain, are close friends off the pitch.

“Thiago is a great friend, a great player and I get along very well with him,” said David Luiz, who left Chelsea to sign for the Paris club earlier this month. “We met at the national side and since then we’ve always kept in close touch.

Brazil's national soccer team soccer players Thiago Silva (top) and Jefferson attend a training session in Teresopolis near Rio de Janeiro May 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

“Now I am going to have to spend more time with him than with my family,” the 27-year-old told a news conference at Brazil’s training camp outside Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s not often that we get a chance to play alongside such a quality player like him, much less such a nice guy. It’s very easy to deal with a colleague and a friend like him.

Brazil's David Luiz and Thiago Silva (R) celebrate after winning their international friendly soccer match against Japan in Wroclaw, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

“I was very happy at Chelsea, I won big titles, made great friends and I gained respect there,” David Luiz added, “but I think it was time for a change and to begin a new period in my life in Paris after the World Cup.”

“We know that this partnership can help us both, but if David and Thiago aren’t ready to run then it’s worthless,” he said. (PSG and Brazil) will have two players who will give their all.”

Both players could be rested for at least one of Brazil’s last two warm-up games next week against Panama and Serbia. But David Luiz at least, said he wants to play.

“Training is a pain,” he said. “All of us want to play in these two friendlies and I hope Felipao (Scolari) picks me.”

Writing by Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo; Editing by Rex Gowar

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