On Saturday, Paris Saint-Germain took on Olympique Lyonnais in the Trophée des Champions and emerged victorious by a score of 2-0. One of our Montreal correspondents was present at the event and spoke to Thiago Silva after the game.
As kickoff approached and the team sheets were released, a majority of the Italian press that were at Saputo Stadium joked that we were about to witness a Serie A side take on Olympique Lyonnais. Despite it clearly being a joke, there is definitely some truth behind it. Out of the seventeen players called up for the game by Laurent Blanc, eight of them plied their trade in Italy at one point or another. Moreover, the former Serie A players themselves all spoke Italian among themselves despite there only being three Italians there. When the game began, Paris Saint-Germain were for the most part dominant thanks to the performances of the Serie A all stars.
The French giants were able to control the game due to Marco Verratti’s incredible range of passing. Almost every pass in the midfield went through the former Pescara man. By the time he was substituted, the Italy international had an impressive 89% pass completion rate, successfully completing 80 passes. In defense, on the other hand, Laurent Blanc’s side were being held together by Thiago Silva’s heroic performance. On the left hand side of defense, Maxwell put in yet another accomplished performance both in defense and in attack. Moving up to the attack, there is of course the presence of a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Napoli’s former superstar, Edinson Cavani. The duo were among the most feared strikers in Italy during their time in Serie A and continued to show just why this was the case on Saturday. The big Swede won almost every aerial duel for the ball while Cavani was a constant spark plug on the left wing. The Uruguayan topped his impressive performance with the goal that sealed the tie in the seventeenth minute.
When the final whistle blew, Paris Saint-Germain were crowned champions and came out for the trophy celebration. While Laurent Blanc pointed to his side’s good preparation and pre-season games against top sides as the reason behind the good result, the French tactician should definitely send thankful wishes Italy’s way. Even if none of Sirigu, Lavezzi, Thiago Motta or Pastore featured, this Ligue Un side had a very real Italian feeling to them.
After the game, we all made our way to the mixed zone to await for the players. About ten minutes into the mixed zone, a crazy rumor emerged on Twitter that Zlatan Ibrahimovic told a reporter that this might have been his last game. Due to the nature of Twitter, the rumor spread like wildfire and highly esteemed journalists in Italy like Gianluca Di Marzio jumped on the bandwagon and reported it. The funny thing in all this was that Ibrahimovic himself hadn’t yet emerged from the locker room nor spoken to anybody. After waiting there for about thirty minutes, Zlatan finally walked past the media without saying a word. A journalist persisted and decided to follow him. Ibracadabra did not take to this nicely and angrily pointed out to the area behind him. The Paris Saint-Germain man told the journalist to return to the mixed zone and leave him alone. Ironically, Zlatan had not said a word to anyone let alone divulge something interesting about his future like everyone had previously reported.
While the emphasis for quite some time was on what a former Milan player might have said, this quickly changed after I had the chance to interview Thiago Silva. The Brazilian came out from the dressing room last with Serge Aurier and was very friendly with the media. After the Paris Saint-Germain captain answered a few questions from the Montreal media, I had the chance to ask him about a potential return to Italy. The exchange went as follows,:
“Ciao Thiago, is a return to Serie A a possibility in the future for you?”
Thiago Silva: “In the future everything is possible my friend. We will have to see what happens.”
Thiago Silva lifting the Trophée des Champions for the crowd: