Silva: Milan the example for PSG

Thiago Silva says that former club Milan have shown Paris Saint-Germain the way to defeat Barcelona in the Champions League.

Italians Milan defeated Barca in the first leg of the Last 16 2-0, before succumbing to a 4-0 reverse in the second leg.

For Silva, who spent three seasons in the Rossoneri first team before a summer move to France, his former employees are an inspiration for PSG in their quarter-final meeting with La Blaugrana.

“Everybody knows what Barcelona are capable of. They have been an amazing side in the last few years,” began the centre-back to Goal.com ahead of tonight’s first leg with Barca.

“The group is full of quality players and their philosophy is admirable. But in football there is no such thing as an unbeatable side.

"They had to work hard to overcome Milan and I think that they showed other teams that it is possible to hurt Barcelona.

 “To win against them we have to cut their space and not allow them to be comfortable on the ball. It's easier said than done, but this is the way we will have to play to come out on top.

“We have the players and we have the will. PSG want to make history and there is a good chance ahead of us.”

Silva faced Barcelona in last year’s quarter-finals with Milan.

“I have good memories of playing against them. We had two incredible games in the 2011-12 Champions League, especially the one at the Camp Nou, when I scored an equaliser in the 92nd minute.

 “Some Italians have asked me if I feel like avenging Milan for the 4-0 defeat [in this season's Last 16]. But there’s no such thing as revenge.

“I am grateful for everything Milan gave me. My career took a huge leap there. But my mind now is set on helping PSG fight to go as far as we can in the tournament.

“There have been a lot of changes in the club and we had to adapt to them. But the side has been away from the Champions League for a long time and we really don’t want to stop at the quarter-finals.”

The defender, who spoke to FIFA yesterday, also ran an interview in L’Equipe today, where he revealed that he came close to joining Barca in the summer.

“It is a club that all players dream of playing for. It was a childhood dream but it did not come true. When Barcelona came in, I was talking to PSG.

“I had given my word to Leonardo that if I was leaving Milan then it would be to sign for PSG. I had to fulfil what was agreed.”

Silva also took a swipe at fellow Ligue 1 player Joey Barton, after the Marseille man labelled his international colleague Neymar the ‘Justin Bieber of football’.

“There is an English footballer whose name I cannot remember who criticises Neymar, Brazilian football and even has criticised Beckham and Ibrahimovic.

“Since no-one talks about him, he uses this to let people know he exists. There is something that no-one must forget that on the Brazil shirt there are five stars and no other team can say that.

“That deserves respect. It gives me more desire to win, to shut this guy up. What does he know about Brazilian football? I do not recall him ever playing against us.”

Barton has since hit out at Silva via Twitter.

Tags Barton Milan Neymar Paris Saint-Germain PSG Silva