Thiago Silva might not have been the captain of the Brazilian national team playing in the semi-finals this week in the 2014 World Cup: his mother considered having an abortion when she was pregnant with him.
Silva's mother, Angela, revealed the story about her 29-year-old son during a recent interview with the Brazilian television network O'Globo.
"I cried on my father's shoulder and said, 'Daddy, I don't want to get an abortion, but I'm also not ready to raise a child'," Angela recalled.
Her father convinced her not to end the child's life. "He wouldn't let me do that, that I commit a sin," she said.
Thiago and his family had a difficult and complicated life in the slums - known as favelas - of Santa Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"I lived in a well-known favela. The police were always there. Because of the danger, I always thanked God when I got home safely," he explained.
The captain of the Brazilian team said that when he was 14 years old, he had a serious bout with tuberculosis.
"It was the toughest battle of my life. I spent six months hospitalized," he recalled.
His mother also remembered the difficulties of that period: "Life in that room was depressing," she said.
Now, Thialgo says the idea of winning the World Cup on home soil keeps him awake at night: "It's difficult to sleep because the World Cup is serious business."
Asked what his reaction will be if Brazil wins, Thialgo replied, "I don't know what I would do at that moment. It would be the greatest achievement of our lives: to win a World Cup at home."