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By ESPN Staff

Thiago Silva: Messi can ruin WC hopes

Thiago Silva has warned fellow World Cup defenders that "out of this world" Lionel Messi is ready to wreck their dreams of glory.

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Silva, 29, will captain host nation Brazil when they kick off their attempt to win a sixth global crown against Croatia in the 2014 tournament's opening game on Thursday.

A major obstacle en route to that ultimate ambition could be neighbours and fierce rivals Argentina, for whom Messi is expected to star.

Having already faced the Barcelona playmaker in the Champions League, Silva told Placar magazine that Messi, whose 2013-14 season was peppered with injury problems, still has the ability to ruin the hopes of Brazil.

"The forward who takes away the dreams of everyone is Messi," Silva said. "I played against him three times when I was at Milan and once with PSG.

"When play comes down one side of the pitch, he's out of this world. To stop Messi in a one-on-one, you can only do it with a rifle in your hand.

"Despite his recent injuries, he's a player who's going to give defenders a lot of work during the World Cup."

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