Thiago Silva backs Willian to fill Neymar role against Germany

The Brazil captain feels that the Chelsea forward would be the ideal replacement for the injured striker after he suffered a fractured vertebra against Colombia

Thiago Silva believes that Willian is capable of filling the void left by Neymar when Brazil face Germany in the World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Selecao progressed beyond the quarter-finals after a 2-1 win over Colombia in Fortaleza, with Silva and David Luiz both on the scoresheet, while los Cafeteros struck through a James Rodriguez penalty.

Despite making their way past Colombia, Brazil were dealt a blow when Neymar was carried off with a broken bone in his back and was ruled out of the rest of the tournament, though Silva hopes that Willian can ensure his absence is not felt too keenly

"Neymar is a boy who dreamed so much of this time," Paris Saint-Germain defender told reporters.

"I don't know yet if [Juan Zuniga's challenge] was malicious or not, but it is impossible to take a ball that is in front of the opponent. There's no way you get your knee and you go through him.

"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."

Silva, who himself miss the game with Germany through suspension, has urged Brazil to show the depth and quality of their squad when they face Germany, believing unity can take them to the final in the Maracana.

"It's difficult," the 29-year-old continued.

"We've lost our standout player. I believe one of the most important players when it comes to the World Cup. But the group must be stronger than the individual. We must be prepared, regardless of any absences."