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Gabriel Paulista: Thiago Silva one of the best in the world

Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista has hailed his Paris Saint-Germain counterpart Thiago Silva as the best in the world.

Former Brazil captain Thiago Silva has been left out of all three Brazil squads since their Copa America quarter-final exit to Paraguay last summer.

The 31-year-old's exclusion has prompted speculation that his international career may have come to a premature end.

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But Gabriel has backed the PSG man, who is hoping to return to the squad for March’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay after being named in the Fifa FIFPRO World XI for the third consecutive year.

“My opinion is still the same. Technically, Thiago Silva is one of the best in the world,” Gabriel Paulista told Goal.

Though yet to make his international debut, 25-year-old Gabriel has twice been called up for his country since coach Dunga took charge in July 2014.

And the 25-year-old says his inclusions have proved a huge boost to his confidence, adding: “I just have words to thank Dunga for the confidence he has shown in me and my work.

“If he's calling me, it's a sign that I have the qualities to represent my country. That gives me the motivation to work even harder for my club.”