The former Juventus center back, Cannavaro, was the last defender to win the prestigious individual trophy after guiding Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, and Silva hopes to achieve a similar feat next year with Brazil.
"If we become world champions it may open the door to the FIFA Ballon d'Or, although I think it would be difficult," the PSG defender told the official FIFA website. "Every 10 years a center back may win it once. You never know what tomorrow brings, but I realize 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 it beat Germany 2-0 in the final.