Former French Defender Jose Cobos on Silva and Memories of PSG’s Champions League Semifinal Run in 1995

Paris Saint-Germain made history on Wednesday as it qualified for the UEFA Champions League semifinals. The upcoming fixture against RB Leipzig on Tuesday will be PSG’s first semifinal contest in the competition since 1995. The 25-year Champions League semifinal drought for PSG was the longest among the powerhouse clubs in Europe over the past 30 years.

During the team’s run in 1995, PSG lost to Milan in the semifinal round in a tie where Les Parisiens were the underdogs heading into the contest. Former French defender Jose Cobos remembers the tie very well. Cobos played in three seasons with PSG over the 1990s and featured in both games of that Champions League tie. In speaking to So Foot, Cobos reflected on what he remembers most from that 1995 tournament run.

“Paris was already starting to be in the best European clubs at that time,” Cobos said. “We were the only team to have won all the group matches. And then, beating Barça of Cruyff in the quarterfinals, it was great. In the semis, it was Milan. I have at home a photo of this first leg where there is behind me, on a corner, Maldini, Baresi, Costacurta and Boban. It was something!”

PSG has had a history of coming up short in Champions League ties. However, the club has recently begun to change the narrative on this talking point thanks to its knockout stage comeback wins over Borussia Dortmund and Atalanta this year. Cobos believes that the lessons learned from the European disappointments over the years have helped PSG in its current Champions League run.

“PSG have gone through a lot of disappointments in recent years and their experience has brought them there, today,” Cobos said. “It must allow them to bring them to the end, that’s all I can wish them.”

Cobos is also a supporter of center-back Thiago Silva. As a former defender himself, Cobos can relate to Silva when it comes to playing under a bulk of pressure in key games. The former PSG defender spoke about his appreciation for Silva and what the Brazilian must do against RB Leipzig in the semifinals.

“We must avoid putting pressure on him,” Cobos said. “After Alain Roche, Antoine Kombouaré and Ricardo, there was no longer a great libero in Paris until Thiago Silva. You can always blame him, but he really deserves to go to the end.

“Thiago Silva will have to behave as a captain and even if he is average against Leipzig, he must keep his head up and motivate his teammates to the end. Thiago has played a lot of important games, he will know how to be ready.”

Silva will be leaving the club at the conclusion of the team’s current Champions League run. Cobos and many other former PSG talents surely would like to see Silva depart from the club as a Champions League winner.

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Tags Champions League Jose Cobos Thiago Silva
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