Thiago Silva: 'Willian can replace Neymar'

Brazil's Willian watches the penalty shootout between his side and Chile on June 28, 2014
© Getty Images
Willian is more than capable of replacing Neymar in the Brazil starting lineup, according to skipper Thiago Silva.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva has insisted that Willian has the ability to replace the stricken Neymar.

Scans over the last few hours have confirmed that the hosts' talisman would play no further part in the World Cup because of a fractured vertebra in his back that he sustained during last night's 2-1 win over Colombia in the quarter-finals.

That has resulted in suggestions that the Brazilians have little chance of winning the tournament for a sixth time, but Silva believes that Chelsea playmaker Willian can sufficiently fill the void - starting with next week's semi-final against Germany.

"I'm sure we have good spare parts. I believe very much in Willian, who has almost the same features as Neymar and believe in this moment he will fill the gap very well. This is where we have to show the strength of the group," he told reporters.

Silva will also be absent from the clash with Germany because of suspension.

Brazil's defender and captain Thiago Silva celebrates scoring during the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 4, 2014
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