Joey Barton may think Thiago Silva is “overrated”, but a senior football personality (who achieved more in his playing career than Barton ever will) has politely disagreed.
World Cup winner and former coach of the French national team, Laurent Blanc, has labelled PSG’s Brazilian international defender Silva “without weakness.”
Blanc, who was a world class centre back in his own time, was asked by Le Parisien to rate Silva in comparison to past defensive legends, like Franco Baresi, Mathias Sammer and himself.
And according to Blanc, 28-year-old Silva- who is skipper of both PSG and Brazil- is likely to be remembered as the best defender of his generation.
"He's better than any of those you could mention. For me, he's the best defender in the world. In the end, silverware will make the difference, but his qualities make him stronger," Blanc told Le Parisien.
"He's complete - he has no weakness. He's a modern defender. He has something more: when he has the ball, he knows what to do with it."
"No-one's technique is as assured as Thiago Silva, who uses all his qualities, technical and physical. As he's only 28, he's got some good years still ahead of him."
Indeed Barton’s voice seems to be the lone one speaking out against Silva, with former PSG legend Rai and current Bayern Munich stopper Dante also coming out in support of their highly-rated compatriot.
"For me, he's the best defender in the world,” Rai told radio station RMC.
"When he's on the pitch, he reassures everyone else - the defensive midfielders, the goalkeeper and the forwards, who know that, if they score, there's someone who's capable of holding on to that lead."
Dante meanwhile, also told RMC: "He's a great player, one of the top three defenders in the world. I wouldn't be able to tell you his faults."