Brazil will be missing Thiago Silva and Neymar for their semi-final encounter against Germany tonight, but centre-back David Luiz believes he is capable of leading Brazil past Germany and through to the World Cup final,according to Sky Sports.The PSG centre-back has been named as Brazil’s captain for their World Cup game tonight as he will be alongside Bayern Munich centre-back Dante, considering this will be the first time in this tournament these two defenders will be playing together.Germany are a fierce opponent but looked unconvincing against Algeria in their 2-1 win before cruising past France in a 1-0 victory, as Brazil will be looking to exploit their defensive vulnerabilities showcased in this tournament.Luiz ready for captaincyBut speaking to Sky Sports ahead of tonight’s game, Luiz isn’t fazed by the role as captain, with the 27-year-old feeling clam considering the immense pressure.”I’m ready. 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.” Tonight’s much anticipated match will be Luiz’s 42nd game for Brazil, as the centre-back has been a key player in this years’ tournament having scored twice; most recently a wonderful free-kick in the host nation’s 2-1 victory against Colombia.The celebration showcased how much it means to the Brazilian to play for his country in a major tournament, as he broadcast this again in their penalty shoot-out against Chile in the round of 16; Brazil just beating their neighbours 3-2 in penalties after it remained 1-1 after 120 minutes in an emotional World Cup tie.Luiz then went on to comment about the opponents Germany believing they are a strong team who deserved to be where they are, clarifying this will be a great game.”They are a great team with a great philosophy of how to play football. They have a lot of great players, a great coach and it will be a great game. It is a World Cup semi-final.”Germany to fall at semi-final hurdle again? Germany have remained the footballing force fans are aware of, but considering they have cruised to another semi-final in a major competition they have their Achilles’ heel.In their round of 16 encounter against Algeria, Joachim Low set a high line with slow centre-backs making goalkeeper Manuel Neuer play as an advanced sweeper keeper, and if the Bayern Munich keeper wasn’t in magnificent form it could have been very costly.David Luiz has come a long way to achieve this reward, as the centre-back over recent years has shown great class, but also carelessness to win the captaincy.In his time at Chelsea, fans would point out the common mistakes that the former Benfica defender would accountable for and would consider the 27-year-old would be best suited as a defensive midfielder.Yet, in a Brazil kit the defender is a completely different player; calm on the ball, with great positioning along with seeming to have a great relationship with his future team mate Thiago Silva. Considering Luiz has been sold to the Ligue 1 Champions PSG for around £50 million, tonight will be great chance to showcase why is the world’s most expensive defender and to play down all the criticism thrown at him in recent years.
Jamal Lewis is heading north without leaving the AFC North. The free agent running back and former 2,000-yard rusher for Baltimore agreed to a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. “We are pleased to add Jamal Lewis to our team,” Browns general manager Phil Savage said in a statement. “He is a proven NFL back who brings a toughness and demeanor to the game that his teammates and our fans will appreciate.” Lewis was released last week in a salary-cap move by Baltimore, which elected not to pay its career rushing leader a $5million roster bonus. He’ll now try to boost the Browns, who were last in the league in rushing in 2006. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons were talking to 35-year-old wide receiver Joe Horn, who was cut last week by their NFC South rivals in New Orleans. ESPN.com quoted unnamed team sources as saying the Falcons reached agreement with the outspoken receiver, but the Falcons denied it. In other moves: The 6-foot-3, 257-pound Graham grew up in Denver and attended the University of Colorado. His father, Tom Graham, played linebacker for the Broncos from 1972 to 1974. The Broncos also signed veteran backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey to a two-year contract, according to The Denver Post. Ramsey is expected to make $4million to $5 million for the life of the contract, the paper reported. Green Bay released 36-year-old fullback William Henderson, leaving Brett Favre as the only member of the 1996 Super Bowl championship team still playing for the Packers. Baltimore released 350-pound guard Edwin Mulitalo, who missed most of last season with a torn triceps. Washington released kicker John Hall, a 10-year veteran who missed most of last season with a leg injury. Pittsburgh re-signed running back Najeh Davenport, who backed up Willie Parker after being signed last September. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With the Ravens reportedly interested in acquiring Buffalo running back Willis McGahee, Lewis decided to look elsewhere and found a fit with the Browns – the team he torched for an NFL-record 295 yards in 2003. He rushed for 2,066 yards, the second-highest total in league history, that year. With Lewis on board, the Browns must decide what to do with incumbent Reuben Droughns. They owe Droughns a $1.75 million roster bonus later this month. Daniel Graham became the latest addition to the Denver Broncos, one of the most active teams so far this offseason. The Broncos agreed Wednesday with the former New England tight end on a five-year, $30 million deal that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. A team spokesman said he could not comment. The deal was disclosed by a person familiar with the deal who requested anonymity because it had not yet been signed.