sport

Luiz delighted with new role

Brazil defender David Luiz is happy to take the responsibility of leading the team into Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final against Germany in Belo Horizonte.

The hosts are without suspended skipper Thiago Silva as well as injured talisman Neymar for the clash at the Estadio Mineirao.

Brazil have appealed against Silva's caution, but they are unlikely to have it rescinded so Luiz will be the man who takes the captain's armband.

"I'm ready," 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 Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk, who insists the former Chelsea player is the perfect man for the job.

"He's just the best," Hulk said. "He's very caring and very attentive, no matter who he's with. It's not every day that you come across someone like him.

"The whole world knows what he has to offer on the pitch - and to my mind, he and Thiago are the best central-defensive partnership in the world - but as his team-mates, we also know what a great person he is too."

Meanwhile, Luiz is expecting a tough match against Germany, who are hoping to avoid a fourth successive World Cup semi-final defeat.

"They are a great team with a great philosophy of how to play football,\" he said.

"They have a lot of great players, a great coach and it will be a great game. It is a World Cup semi-final."