RIO DE JANEIRO - Gilberto Silva may not
have the eye-catching flamboyance of some of his team mates but
still believes his role in Brazil's midfield is crucial for the
five-times world champions, even if it goes unnoticed.
The former Arsenal player is set to play at his third World
Cup, yet after 91 appearances is still trying to convince
Brazil's demanding critics that he is worthy of the famous gold
"I'm not the type of player who dribbles, scores goals and
does anything eye-catching," the defensive midfielder told
Reuters in an interview.
"My job goes unnoticed by a lot of people, but it doesn't
worry me because I know that my work is in the team's interest."
"It's a job that somebody has to do, given the
characteristics of the Brazilian team."
At times, Gilberto - who has managed three goals for his
country - almost plays as a third central defender as the two
full backs push up to join the attack.
Gilberto was ever-present at the 2002 World Cup, having won
his place in the team at the last minute when first-choice
Emerson was forced out through injury.
Four years later, he was a substitute but has since forced
his way back into the side under coach Dunga.
He attributes his Brazil revival partly to his move from
Arsenal, where he had fallen out of favour, to Panathinaikos two
"The move to Greece was a gamble on my part in relation to
the national team," he said.
"My last season at Arsenal was not the way I wanted. I
played very little and this certainly damaged my performances
for Brazil because I didn't have match rhythm."
"Now, I can say that I'm back to my best," added Gilberto,
who helped his club to a Greek league and cup double this
Gilberto, who alongside Lucio is one of only two survivors
from the 2002 World Cup team still playing regularly for Brazil,
said the squad would not repeat the mistakes of the last World
Cup, when an alleged over-confidence among both the team and
media appeared to undermine their challenge.
"We've learned the lessons from 2006. It's true that there
was a festive atmosphere around the national team and we lost
concentration at an important moment," he said.
"There may have been over-confidence and we know we let
people down, including ourselves.
"The squad we have now, and especially the players who were
present in 2006 such as myself, Lucio and Kaka, want to bounce
back after what we went through."
Dunga, appointed as coach after 2006 to restore pride and
commitment, cleared out a number of older players. They included
Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, who were dropped immediately, and
Ronaldinho, who has not been picked since April last year.
"In this period with Dunga, we had to start from scratch,"
said Gilberto. "We started over from nothing, picking up the
pieces, and little by little, with great difficulty, the squad
was put together.
"We gradually began winning back the confidence of the
Brazilian public and we now want to complete the circle by
winning the World Cup."
Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook
Barcelona's golden boy grabs the headlines again
It's Larsson Jr stealing the show these days
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010