The former Juventus centre-back, Cannavaro, was the last defender to win the prestigious individual trophy after guiding the Azzurri to World Cup glory in 2006.
Silva hopes to achieve the feat next year, by winning the World Cup with Brazil before impressing with his club, but admitted it will take a lot of hard work.
"If we become world champions it may open the door to the Fifa Ballon d'Or, although I think it would be difficult," the 29-year-old told the official Fifa website.
"Every 10 years a centre-back may win it once. You never know what tomorrow brings, but I realise it’s very tough.
"What I’m thinking about is playing well to provide my team with a solid foundation to win games. What I’m thinking about is winning the World Cup. If this puts me among the best again, I’ll be very happy."
Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002 when they beat Germany 2-0 in the final, but have been touted by many as favourites this year due to their home advantage.
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