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By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Hailing from a land famed for open, imaginative and above all theatrical football, it might be hard gaining a deserved recognition as one of the world's leading defenders. But former Fluminense zagueiro (central defender) and current AC Milan star Thiago Silva is, alongside veteran Lúcio, firmly shaking the misconception of some that Brazilians don't know how to defend.

In December, French sports paper L'Équipe voted the Brazil Seleção (national side) number four the best Brazilian player in Europe, beating such stars . . .

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