With the biggest prize in club football on the line in what may be his last match for the club, veteran Paris Saint- Germain captain Thiago Silva insists his side “don’t plan to stop short”
I believe this is a unique season because of everything we’ve been going through: the pandemic, the lockdown, this COVID-19 situation. It’s been very tough for us when it comes to preparations; we’ve spent virtually three months at home. Many players live in apartments and struggled to follow what the club had set out for them, in terms of training and preparing. Our comeback was a bit hard. We had many fears. But we have everything in our hands to finish it the way we planned, as the club celebrates its 50th anniversary, in my last year of contract. Playing against Atalanta, I wasn’t sure if that was going to be my last game or if I’d have the chance to play another. I can’t help having that thought in my mind, it’s just natural. But I’m quite calm, and quite happy with everythingI’ve gone through at the club. And if this turns out to be my last game, I’ll be happy with it. I gave everything that I could. But the most important thing is what we’ve been doing. This is history in the making and we don’t plan to stop short.
All of us who enjoy football see Bayern as a role model on both the European and world stage. A team that plays with high intensity and has a lot of quality, from their keeper – who is among the greatest in the world – to their striker, who is the top scorer in this season’s Champions League. Unfortunately, without the crowd, we won’t get that expected atmosphere. So this will be unlike any other final. But I’m sure they’ll get their game going, as we’ll try and play ours – hopefully more successfully.
I feel happy, first, and very honoured to have been part of this team, having helped its evolution. I came here in the 2012/13 season when the team had recently welcomed the new owners from Qatar, with a goal, with big aspirations.
In this whole process we had a few disappointments – some joys but the disappointments were very strong, the pressure was very strong. Especially on the team’s leaders: me, Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimović] before me. If we are celebrating reaching this final, we also have to congratulate the players that came first: [ Javier] Pastore, who left; Ibra, Maxwell, [Salvatore] Sirigu... They helped to rebuild the team. Getting this far, we have to look back and thank those people. I’ll be grateful my whole life for everything I’ve experienced here – andI want to keep making history.
It’s hard being on the pitch and not seeing our fans there, cheering. As much as we feel the positive energy, it’s very different – the environment is very different. After the game against Atalanta we saw a great party in Paris; after the semi-finals, a great party in Paris. And I can just imagine the party we’ll have in Paris when we are the champions, God willing. So, this motivates us, makes us work harder to achieve this dream.
The first one is ‘family’. I think we are a big family. ‘Professionalism’, because of the way we were able to return after a pandemic. And the team’s ‘quality’. This team is amazing. When you put these three things together, everything tends to work out.
Yes, of course. The great idols aren’t us, the players, but those people you mentioned. Doctors, people who were and are on the frontline of this fight against COVID-19 – who could, somehow, give us peace through the daily tests we’ve been having. To all the doctors, to everyone on the frontline, thank you very much.