Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has explained how it is Brazil's captain Thiago Silva, not golden boy Neymar, who will be the most significant absence, as the pair were both ruled out of their semi-final against Germany.
In an exclusive interview, Yahoo’s Global Football Ambassador Mourinho, discussed how he considers Thiago Silva is more of a key player than Neymar, and also how Brazil's spirit is driving them on.
The proclaimed 'Special One', did highlight that Neymar - who fractured his vertebrae against Colombia on Saturday night - will be severely missed for his unique talent, and determination to beat players.
However, it is the host nation's captain,Thiago Silva, with his impressive performances and leadership in defence who will leave the biggest gap, after another yellow card ruled him out of the showdown with Germany tomorrow night.
"Brazil needs him because he is an individual player that can win one again ones provocate and balance situations," Mourinho told Yahoo.
"But I think Thiago Silva, at this moment is so much more important than Neymar in the team. His absence is an important absence because the Brazil game is based on defensive structure, on their defensive structure."
"They have Enrique and Dante as an option. Dante plays in Germany and plays in the same team as every one of the other German players because lots of them play in Bayern."
Brazil victory over Colombia
Talking after the exciting and dramatic quarter-final last Saturday night which saw Brazil edge out their impressively talented South American neighbours Colombia 2-1, Mourinho has revealed his respect for Luis Felipe Scolari's men.
He said: "I think Brazil is a fighting team. I think Brazil is playing really hard, every player is giving everything and that is something I respect."
Despite this, the Chelsea boss added that he believes Brazil are not producing the quality and flare that they are so historically known for, after they struggled to hold on against Colombia but that he can still see them winning the tournament because of their passion.
He continued: "The reality is, they don't play quality football. They don't use the quality of so many good players but I think that they know what they are doing."
"In the second half, you could see perfectly Brazil not trying to play, not trying to kick the ball. Everybody defending, big effort from everyone. "
"I think the end of the story will be, Brazil World champions. I respect the fact that they are showing they are a team and they are giving everything to the competition, they are giving everything to their country. "
As tomorrows, 'Clash of the Titans' semi-final in Belo Horizonte looms ever larger, Mourinho indicates how he has big doubts that the game will provide the competitive brilliance everybody is hoping for, even though the ingredients are there.
He also indicates, that is is worried that Brazil's immense spirit may not be enough to get them past the highly organised defensive structure, the Germans possess.
"Lots of talent, lots of the best players in the world and I would say fantastic match but at this moment have doubts," Mourinho concluded.
"Competitive for sure, physical for sure, aggressive for sure but I have doubts about quality because the way Brazil is playing is based on that spirit, on that defensive strength, on that one-for-all-all-for-one fantastic spirit but without very well organised football."
"Germany, I think they are very pragmatic. Defensively, I think they are very strong too. They are thinking the game in a different way."
"I expect, probably not a magical match but a huge semi-final."
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