FIFA World Cup: I'm ready for responsibility, says David Luiz
Brazil vice captain says he will step up and lead the team tonight in the semi-final versus Germany in the absence of captain Thiago Silva and Neymar
Rio de Janeiro: David Luiz is happy to take the responsibility of leading Brazil out in their huge World Cup semi-final against Germany.
(Left to right) Marcelo, Fred, David Luiz, Hulk, Paulinho, Fernandinho and Oscar have some fun during a training session at Granja Comary. Pic/Getty Images
As well as Neymar, the hosts will be without another key player today — captain Thiago Silva, who was handed his second booking of the tournament for a block on Colombia's David Ospina last Friday.
Luiz is renowned for his madcap moments on the pitch, but he takes the responsibility of captaining his nation very seriously. The hopes of around 200 million Brazilians rest on his shoulders, but he has no qualms about leading the side in Belo Horizonte.
"I'm ready (for the responsibility)," Luiz said. "I'm vice-captain and this group is very easy to handle because everyone's very down to earth. It won't be a tough job at all."
Luiz has the full support of his teammate Hulk.
"He's just the best," the Zenit St Petersburg forward said.
Bayern Munich's Dante will replace Silva at the heart of Brazil's defence. Luiz Felipe Scolari has a far harder decision to make on who should fill the huge gap left by Neymar's absence.
Luis Gustavo will return after suspension, so Fernandinho or Paulinho could be pushed forward in a more advanced position.
Hernanes is another option open to the Brazil coach, but the more likely option would be to introduce either Willian or Bernard.