As was confirmed even before the international break began, Thiago Silva will not feature for Chelsea this weekend thanks to the fact that Brazil have had three qualifiers in the last week, including one last night (Thursday) against Uruguay, less than 48 hours before our kick-off against Brentford on Saturday.
So that part is a bit annoying — international football shouldn’t be taking precedence over club football in the middle of the club season (thanks, FIFA/etc) — but for Silva himself, this break has been one to remember. Earlier this week, with a 20-minute substitute appearance, he became just the seventh player in history to represent Brazil 100 times, and for his 101st cap, he was back to wearing the captain’s armband as well from the very start.
The night however belonged to Neymar, who scored one and created a couple more as Brazil rolled over a subpar Uruguay with ease. Leeds United winger Raphinha grabbed a brace (his first two goals for the national team in fact) while Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa rounded off the scoring late on. The 4-1 victory has all but confirmed Brazil’s place in the 2022 World Cup, not that it was ever in doubt.
Neymar, who’s recently started contemplating (early?) retirement is now just 7 goals shy of Pelé’s all-time goalscoring record for the Seleção. He can surely reach that mark before calling it quits, just as Silva can surely become the most capped central defender, now just 4 shy of Lúcio’s 105 appearances.