Thiago Silva has said suggestions of a fall-out with Brazil team-mate and talisman Neymar at the World Cup 2018 in Russia have been exaggerated.
Silva was quoted as saying he was “saddened” because £198million star forward Neymar had “insulted” him during the 2-0 Group E win against Costa Rica last Friday.
But, speaking after the five-time world champions booked a last-16 showdown with Mexico on Monday following a 2-0 win over Serbia, 33-year-old Silva described reports of a rift as fantasy.
“There are people who talk a lot, but I have never had anything against Neymar,” he told Le Parisien.
“It’s a joke that I made and the journalists talked about it badly.”
Brazil have put a slow start behind them in Russia to make the second round of the Fifa showpiece tournament, but face a stern test of their credentials against the dangerous Mexicans in Samara.
The winners of this tie could then face Belgium in the last eight but Paris Saint-Germain defender Silva warned Tite’s men must first take care of El Tri.
“Mexico are a very good team, we have to be wary of that. Against Germany they deserved their [1-0] victory,” he said.
“We have to make as few errors as possible because if we go out in the last 16, it would all been for nothing.”
Brazil are quoted 1.53 to win in 90 minutes and the draw outcome is available to back at 4.20. Mexico are currently trading 7.00 in the match betting.