Thiago Silva revelled in Chelsea’s Champions League success on Saturday night while claiming that he was always unfairly made the scapegoat for his former club Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea lifted the European Cup for the second time in their history after beating Manchester City 1-0 in an all-English final at Estadio do Dragao, thanks to a first-half strike from Kai Havertz.
Silva exorcised the demons of PSG’s final defeat to Bayern Munich last season in the process, despite limping off injured before the interval, and took the opportunity to vent his frustrations at his former club after the match.
What’s been said?
“It’s incredible. It’s the most important moment of my career. It’s unforgettable,” the Blues centre-back told RMC Sport. “I am really very happy. To have this cup is huge. My injury? A lot of things have happened in my head.
“Getting out of the game very early was difficult for me. But at this level, we cannot be at 70 per cent. But I’m happy because the team stayed calm and defended well.
“We suffered, but we did it well. In the end, we are rewarded for everything we have done. It’s special for me, especially considering the pressure we had in Paris to win it.
“Whenever Paris was eliminated, people wanted to find a culprit and it was me all the time. It’s too bad.
“I hope Paris will win it in the future, because I left a lot of friends there. And I will always stay red and blue.”
Silva and Chelsea conquer Europe
Chelsea snapped Silva up on a free transfer after his PSG departure last summer, and he subsequently became a key member of the squad under Frank Lampard before reuniting with Thomas Tuchel – who was relieved of his managerial duties at Parc des Princes in December.
Silva played in eight games during the Blues’ run to the final, including both legs of their last-four victory over Real Madrid, but picked up a knock just before the 40-minute mark in Porto which saw Andreas Christensen come on as his replacement.
Tuchel’s men regrouped admirably and managed to make the breakthrough when Havertz raced onto a searching Mason Mount pass before rounding Ederson and stroking into an empty net.
Pulisic came close to doubling their account in the second period, while Riyad Mahrez went close at the death for City with a sweetly struck volley before Chelsea ultimately held out for a narrow but well deserved victory.
The bigger picture
Despite the fact Silva was unable to finish the Champions League showpiece, it has been reported that the Blues will trigger their option to extend his contract by an extra year.
The 36-year-old’s experience and cool head at the back has helped the west London outfit reach new heights in 2020-21, and supporters will hope that his continued presence can inspire them to launch a Premier League title bid next season.