By Sergio Stanco
Highly-rated Vasco centre-back Dede has no doubts that compatriot and AC Milan star Thiago Silva is currently the best defender in the world, adding that Serie A giants such as the Rossoneri and Juventus will have to stay patient if they want to sign him as he is committed to staying in his native Brazil.
The 23-year-old has become a key part of the Rio side since moving as a teenager from Volta Redonda, although on Wednesday evening he will miss out through injury on a trip to Argentina as Vasco bid to reach the Copa Libertadores quarter-final at the expense of Lanus. The Brazilians currently hold a 2-1 lead over the Buenos Aires side after qualifying with ease for the knock-out stages.
Dede's accomplished performances have earned him many admirers across the Atlantic Ocean, with both Milan giants and Juve reportedly fans of his strong, direct defending. According to the youngster, however, there will be no move in the near future.
"I think [going to Europe] is a natural step in one's career, but right now I think that when I come to Europe, I want to feel prepared and ready to do it. Right now I am only focused on Vasco, because I am very happy in Brazil, close to my family and my friends," the defender explained to Goal.com Italy.
"The issue is not about playing in Juventus, Inter or Milan, but when I will feel ready to do that. Until then I will stay in Brazil where I am very happy. The respect and love I get here is priceless."
The Selecao international, who has been capped twice for his country, nevertheless signalled that his two biggest defensive heroes are already present in Serie A.
"My idol has always been Roma's Juan. But right now, the best in the world is Thiago Silva," he stated.
Dede helped Vasco lift the Brasileiro Serie B title in 2009 and return to the top flight, and last year the side won the Copa do Brasil and finished second in Serie A; with only Corinthians denying the Carioca giants a championship victory.