Paris Saint-Germain has had a multitude of what-ifs from its UEFA Champions League runs over the years. But this one might be up there as one of the most questionable ones.
Over the 2017-2018 Champions League competition, PSG was deemed as one of the heavy favorites to win it all that season. PSG began the knockout stage with a Round of 16 tie against Real Madrid but for the club, its run ended there as Les Parisiens fell by a 5-2 aggregate score. The first leg of the tie was marred by what-ifs as PSG lost by a 3-1 final score, including the fact that then manager Unai Emery benched defender Thiago Silva for the contest. Two years later, Silva has now revealed to France Football (via RMC Sport) just why Emery decided to keep him on the bench against Real Madrid’s high-octane attack.
“We didn’t often agree,” Silva said. “In the first leg against Real Madrid, he left me on the bench because he needed a left-handed defender. That was his excuse. This is the first time I have mentioned it but I had a hard time digesting it. He left Di Maria also on the bench. We lost 3-1.
“On the way back (the second leg of the tie), he no longer needed a left-handed central. He established me. It’s the kind of thing that a player doesn’t understand. And that’s just one of many examples.”
For Silva, this was just one of many managerial decisions made by Emery that he questioned.
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