Thiago Silva's recent dip in form is due to him being "a little bit afraid" of missing the World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has claimed.
Silva's unconvincing display in PSG's Coupe de la Ligue final win over Lyon last weekend was just the latest in a series of uncharacteristically unsteady performances from the former AC Milan centre-back, who has been one of PSG's most consistently outstanding performers since moving to the French capital in the summer of 2012.
Ahead of Wednesday's Ligue 1 encounter with Evian-Thonon-Gaillard, Blanc told media that Silva had been struggling for form as his mind wanders to thoughts of the World Cup in his native Brazil this summer.
"We expect such excellence from him that when he's less good, we wonder what's happened to him,” said Blanc, who was deprived of his captain for six weeks earlier this season due to a thigh injury while Silva has played his last four competitive outings with a protective mask after sustaining a facial fracture.
“He's had a tricky spell, but that could also be explained by the fact he has had some injuries. When you're certain to go to the World Cup, when you're Brazil captain -- all those injuries mean you are little bit afraid of missing the World Cup.”
"In the player's subconscious, it's not that he takes his foot off the gas, but rather that he pays attention to a lot of things, and paradoxically, the injuries come one after the other. He is surely saying to himself: 'Let the league finish quickly so that I can prepare myself’. But he's not the only one. All the players who will be leaving for Brazil in two months are being careful."