Former Brazilian captain Thiago Silva has not given up hope of reclaiming a starting berth for the Selecao during this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The 33-year-old centre-back has been a peripheral figure for Brazil since his handball gifted a penalty to Paraguay in the 2015 Copa America quarterfinals, which the team lost on spot kicks, reports Xinhua news agency.

The current incumbents in the middle of Brazil’s defence are Silva’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Marquinhos and Inter Milan’s Miranda.

“They are both playing very well and are making very few mistakes,” Silva told the Folha de S.Paulo daily.

“But I don’t think anybody has a guaranteed starting position in Brazil’s national team.

“I know what my potential is and the other players know theirs. I just have to work hard every day and then the opportunities will come.”

Brazil is likely to enter the June 14-15 tournament as the favorites after losing just one of their 18 South American zone qualifiers.

But they will need to overcome the harrowing memory of the World Cup on home soil four years ago, when they suffered a humiliating 7-1 semifinal loss to Germany.

“There is no way to forget what happened in 2014,” said Silva, who missed the match against the eventual champions because of suspension.

“Even if we win the World Cup we can’t erase what happened. What we can do is minimize the effects of it, if we manage to achieve our dream of being champions.”

Despite his absence against Germany in Belo Horizonte, Silva was criticised by sections of the Brazilian media after the tournament.

Some questioned his temperament after he wept openly as Brazil prepared for their penalty shoot-out with Chile in the round of 16, which the hosts won.

“People tried to make me quit football,” Silva said. “They talked a lot about what happened (the tears) without bothering to look at the human side. But that’s normal in football. Everybody has an opinion,” he added.