Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flamboyant Luiz Taking the Captaincy Seriously

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flamboyant Luiz Taking the Captaincy Seriously

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Hirst

DAVID Luiz is happy to take the responsibility of leading Brazil out in their huge World Cup semi-final against Germany.

As well as Neymar (pictured below), the hosts will be without another key player tonight - captain Thiago Silva, who was handed his second booking of the tournament for a block on Colombia's David Ospina last Friday.

Brazil have appealed against the caution, but they are unlikely to have it rescinded so Luiz will be the man who leads the Selecao in the Estadio Mineirao today.

Luiz is renowned for his madcap moments on the pitch, but he takes the responsibility of captaining his nation very seriously.

The hopes of around 200 million Brazilians rest on his shoulders, but he has no qualms about leading the side in Belo Horizonte.

"I'm ready," Luiz said. "I'm vicecaptain and this group is very easy to handle because everyone's very down to earth. It won't be a tough job at all."

Luiz has the full support of his team-mate Hulk. "He's just the best," the Zenit St Petersburg forward said.

"He's very caring and very attentive, no matter who he's with. It's not every day that you come across someone like him.

"The whole world knows what he has to offer on the pitch - and to my mind, he and Thiago (Silva) are the best central-defensive partnership in the world - but as his team-mates, we also know what a great person he is too."

Bayern Munich's Dante looks set to replace Silva at the heart of Brazil's defence.

Luiz Felipe Scolari has a far harder decision to make on who should fill the huge gap left by Neymar's absence. Luis Gustavo will return after suspension, so Fernandinho or Paulinho could be pushed forward in a more advanced position.

Hernanes is another option open to the Brazil coach, but the more likely option would be to introduce either Willian or Bernard. …

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