Saturday February 12 2011
Thiago Silva: 'I nearly died in Russia'

Milan defender Thiago Silva reveals the reason he wanted to quit football after rejection in Brazil and contracting TB in Russia. “I almost died.”

The Brazilian is one of the most sought-after young talents in Serie A right now and has been linked with Real Madrid, but it was almost a very different story.

“In 2005 I was sent out on loan to Dinamo Moscow, but the city was horrible, I was cold and got ill,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sport Week.

“I was in hospital for six months. I was 10kg overweight and, despite everyone else in the hospital being so skinny and not wanting to eat, I was always hungry. My mother said I didn't look ill, but I couldn't move.

“The doctors would tell me to get up and go for a walk, but I couldn't do it. This disease is also contagious, so I was put in isolation, only able to play computer games and go on the internet.

“Every now and then a doctor would come in and give me an injection, three or four times a day, plus 10-15 pills.

“I eventually found out that I'd had tuberculosis for six months. The doctors said if another two weeks had passed, I might not have been able to recover. I almost died. This is why, whenever I play, I think back to those moments in Russia.

“I had thought of quitting football altogether. There was another occasion when I went to Flamengo for a trial and after two sessions they said I could go, as I was no better than any of the players they already had,” revealed Thiago Silva.

“I told my mother I didn't want to play football anymore, as nobody wanted me. However, she said in that case I'd have to go work for my brother, so I immediately changed my mind and looked for another club!”