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Thiago Silva was weeks away from death and recovered to become one of the best ever defenders

Josh Lawless

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Thiago Silva was weeks away from death and recovered to become one of the best ever defenders

Thiago Silva is widely deemed to be one of the best and most intelligent defenders in world football, and one who is still performing at an exceptionally high level at 38.

But the Brazilian's career and life very nearly did not happen back in 2005. When Silva moved to Dynamo Moscow on loan from Porto, he found out he had tuberculosis - a rare bacterial infection.

Some of the symptoms included a high temperature, coughing fits and lots of sweating but Silva, just 21 at the time, had the disease unknowingly for six months before he was diagnosed.

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Doctors told him he was two weeks away from death and he remained in hospital in the Russian capital for six months.

He would stay in his bed and had to have a plethora of pills, as well as a number of injections.

"In 2005 I was sent out on loan to Dynamo Moscow, but the city was horrible, I was cold and got ill,” he recalled to Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sport Week back in 2011.

“I was in hospital for six months. I was 10kg overweight and, despite everyone else in the hospital being so skinny and not wanting to eat, I was always hungry.

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'My mother said I didn't look ill, but I couldn't move.

“The doctors would tell me to get up and go for a walk, but I couldn't do it. This disease is also contagious, so I was put in isolation, only able to play computer games and go on the internet.

“Every now and then a doctor would come in and give me an injection, three or four times a day, plus 10-15 pills.

“I eventually found out that I'd had tuberculosis for six months. The doctors said if another two weeks had passed, I might not have been able to recover.

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"I almost died. This is why, whenever I play, I think back to those moments in Russia."

Things were so severe that doctors wanted to remove part of his right lung - a move that would have almost definitely ended his career there and then.

His mother and wife opposed it and so too did his coach Ivo Wortmann and agent. Slowly but surely, Silva was on the mend and started his recovery journey by walking for half an hour every morning before progressing to jogging.

Wortmann signed him for a second time at Fluminense and became an important player, before winning Serie A with AC Milan in Italy.

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Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Silva then won seven league titles with Paris Saint-Germain and lifted the Champions League with Chelsea, where his experience has been utterly invaluable at the heart of their backline.

He deserves enormous credit for showing such strength to overcome such a hurdle and should be commended for the incredible career he's had.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy, Thiago Silva & Dynamo Moscow

Topics: Thiago Silva, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea

Josh Lawless
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