Silva blasts ‘cowardly’ Zuniga

Brazil captain Thiago Silva has hit out at ‘cowardly’ Juan Zuniga, condemning the Colombia defender for his challenge on Neymar.

The Napoli full-back fouled the Barcelona superstar in their quarter-final last Friday, with the 22-year-old suffering a fractured vertebrae, which will see him miss the rest of the World Cup.

And the central defender has criticised both Zuniga and FIFA for no retrospective punishment.

“It's FIFA's decision [not to punish Zuniga] and we have to respect it,” he told a Press conference.

“But I'm a central defender and I have never gone in with my knee high up like that on a rival's back.

“It was a cowardly tackle. There's no way you have you knee high up like that unless you want to cause a certain situation. It's not a normal match situation. That's my opinion on the matter.”

Silva is suspended for Brazil’s semi-final against Germany, but is confident that Bayern Munich defender Dante can be a good replacement.

“Dante can replace me. I spoke to him at the end of the Colombia match and I told him that his opportunity would come. Now it's up to the Coach to select him.

“He is always one of the last left in the gym and one of the last to leave training. I played with him at Juventude in 2004 and I know how hard he was worked to get here, so I am sure he will be happy to go out now and show his skills.”

Tags Brazil Colombia Neymar Thiago Silva World Cup 2014 Zuniga