Silva also heaped praise on Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, in spite of the Brazilian’s lack of firepower in front of goal this season.
The centre-back, 36, has played all across Europe with AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and now Chelsea, and has played against some of the best forwards in the world.
And speaking to the Blues’ official website, he picked out some of the opposition players who caused him the most problems.
He highlighted Di Maria for praise, having played against him and alongside him during their shared time in the French capital.
Silva said: “Di Maria because of his technical quality and his incredible left foot.
“[Kylian]. Mbappe because of his speed and also his technical quality. [Didier] Drogba because of his physical strength despite being incredibly strong he still has a lot of technical skill.”
Firmino, who he played with for the Brazil national team and against at club level, received praise for his intelligence around the penalty area.
He continued: “Firmino, he has incredible technical quality. He is very intelligent in his movement that leaves defenders a bit lost.
“Romario because of his intelligence in the box. He’s the best I’ve seen in the box. Adriano, like Drogba, he’s an incredible physical force with an unbelievable powerful left-foot penalty shot.
“I’m going to say [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic as the fourth there because he is a guy that inspired me and I think he has inspired many kids to inspire what they are doing.
“He was a black belt [in MMA] before he became a football and then after he found himself football.
“He’s a guy that I admire a lot. I had the chance to play with and against him and obviously he’s the fourth best in my list.
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“Neymar because of his class, intelligence and magic. He is a player that impresses me with his technical quality and his ability to create out of nowhere.
“Cristiano because of his professionalism, his dedication and passion for football. He is a guy I really admire for his commitment and for everything he has achieved.
“Messi, because he has incredible quality and a God-given gift and because of the professional he is. For me he is the best.”