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Veteran Italian hails his team-mate and wishes him luck to become the new Paolo Maldini or Franco Baresi, and establish himself as a legend for the club

AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi believes that team-mate Thiago Silva is the best defender on the planet at the moment.

The Brazil international centre-back joined the Italian champions in 2009 and in two seasons has proved himself to be comfortable in Serie A.

In Milan’s 2010-11 Serie A winning campaign, the 26-year-old forged a formidable partnership with veteran Alessandro Nesta at the back and won the’s Serie A Player of the Season last week.

Inzaghi, who recently signed a one-year contract extension with Milan and will remain with the former European champions for the 2011-12 season, is delighted to have Silva in his team.

“I think Thiago is the best defender in the world, it’s incredible how good he is,” enthused the veteran forward on the club’s official website. “For the good of Milan and as a team-mate, I wish him to emulate [Franco] Baresi or [Paolo] Maldini.

“I think he’s on his way to doing that, even though every player has to be himself. But no doubt, Thiago belongs to the elite group of players, who are born maybe once in a century.”

Silva appeared in 33 Serie A games this season and also scored a goal and provided an assist. He was shown the yellow card just once.

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