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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup


Dante ready to step up for Brazil

Dante has told reporters he is ready to replace the suspended Thiago Silva in the Brazil team for the World Cup semifinal against Germany on Tuesday.

Dante, 30, has been a reserve for Brazil throughout the finals and if selected he will make his World Cup debut against the country in which he plays his club football for Bayern Munich.

Thiago Silva is suspended after picking up his second booking of the tournament against Colombia, a decision which Brazil have appealed but are unlikely to win.

He is one of two options for Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who in Napoli's Henrique has another possible replacement.

"I have been working hard in training for the past few weeks, just to be ready for the moment I am needed," Dante told reporters in quotes published by kicker on Monday. "Should the coach bank on me against Germany, I will be there, that's for sure."

Dante arrived in the Bundesliga in January 2009, and has made over 150 appearances for Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern.

"A semifinal against Germany is awesome," he continued. "We know them, and I know them very well. I don't know whether I will play, but if you had asked me before the World Cup whom I'd like to play the most, it would have been Germany.

"Of course, that would be great. My World Cup debut, in Brazil, and against Germany, that would be a dream. I am fired up for this match. Should I play for Thiago Silva, than I will not have any fears. I will play like always, and try and adapt his role on the pitch as effectively as possible. I also have a certain experience that I can bring in."

Dante will, of course, not be the only Bayern player on the pitch in Belo Horizonte, and he believes that even knowing the qualities and weak spots of Germany will not stop "[Bastian] Schweinsteiger or [Thomas] Muller from doing something special."

"I don't think that a single player makes the difference for Germany, this is a very compact group," Dante added. "We have to be perfectly organised, and need to play with an aggressiveness, otherwise it will be difficult. The German XI can keep and circulate the ball really well, that's dangerous because you need to be able to defend it as a block.

"We might have a bit more pressure, because we play at home, but Germany also belong to the World Cup favourites. It will be a great game."


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