Thiago Silva: Milan have shown us the way

The PSG defender tells how his former side's 2-0 home victory over Barcelona has provided a tactical blueprint for other opponents of the Blaugrana to follow
By Fernando Duarte

Thiago Silva believes his former club AC Milan have taught football a lesson in how to topple Barcelona.

The Brazilian's Paris Saint-Germain side are clear underdogs against the runaway La Liga leaders in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg.

But Thiago insists Tito Vilanova's team are far from "unbeatable" and Milan's successful strategy in the 2-0 home leg of their last-16 clash gives PSG genuine hope of an upset.

He told"Everybody knows what Barcelona are capable of. They have been an amazing side in the last few years.

"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. "

Thiago, 28, joined big-spending PSG last summer after three years at San Siro and previously played and scored in the Serie A side's 2-2 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League group stage in 2011.

The defender was also part of the Milan squad which lost last season's quarter-final 3-1 on aggregate to the Catalan giants after drawing 0-0 in the home leg.

He said: "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 second leg]. 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."

Thiago also dispelled any doubts about his fitness following a thigh problem he had at the start of this year.
He added: "I am feeling much better know. My muscle injury in January left me out for a good couple of weeks and when I returned for the second match against Valencia [in the last 16] I was not fully fit.

"I had to time my movements to avoid having to run too much. But I am fine now and I wouldn’t miss the Barcelona game for anything."