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The Brazilian defender has admitted that he didn’t see eye-to-eye with the Spaniard when they worked together at Parc des Princes

Thiago Silva has blasted former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery after being left baffled by his decision to drop him against Real Madrid in the 2017-18 Champions League knockout stages.

PSG drafted in Emery as their new permanent manager back in 2016 after his successful three-year stint in La Liga with Sevilla.

The Spaniard led the French giants to seven trophies, including one Ligue 1 title, but failed to guide the team beyond the last-16 stage in Europe’s elite competition.

PSG were knocked out by Barcelona 6-5 on aggregate after surrendering a 4-0 first-leg lead during his first season in charge, before coming up against Madrid in the last 16 the following year.

Silva, who was widely regarded as PSG’s most consistent defender during his eight-year spell at Parc des Princes, was left on the bench for a 3-1 defeat at Santiago Bernabeu which saw Cristiano Ronaldo grab a brace for the Blancos.

Emery decided to restore Silva to his starting line-up for the return fixture, but PSG still fell to a 2-1 home loss which saw them exit the Champions League 5-2 on aggregate.

The Brazilian says his old manager dropped him from the first leg in favour of a left-footed centre-back, only to reverse his original decision when Madrid arrived in the French capital, which he found extremely confusing.

“We didn’t often agree with each other,” Silva told France Football of his relationship with Emery. “He was the ‘commander’, well, he was paid for that, so I respected his authority, but… In the first leg against Real Madrid, he left me on the bench because he needed a left-footed central defender.

“That was his excuse. This is the first time I’ve spoken about that, but at the time, it was hard to digest. He left [Angel] Di Maria on the bench too. We lost 3-1. In the second leg, he no longer needed a left-footed central defender.

“He put me in the starting line-up! It’s the kind of thing a player doesn’t understand. And this is just one example among many with Emery.”

Thiago Silva PSG

Emery left PSG in the summer of 2018 and took up the top job at Arsenal, while ex-Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel stepped into his spot in the dugout at Parc des Princes.

The Ligue 1 giants have since become a far more well-rounded team, as evidenced by their run to last season’s Champions League final, with Tuchel proving a dab hand when it comes to dealing with the club’s high-profile stars such as a Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Silva, who played the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon,  left PSG with his status as a club legend firmly intact and joined Chelsea as a free agent in August.

Emery, meanwhile, only lasted 18 months in the hotseat at Emirates Stadium, with the Arsenal board deciding a change was needed following a poor start to the 2018-19 campaign.

The 48-year-old spent several months out of work before returning to management at Villarreal, who suffered a 4-0 defeat away to Barcelona in his third La Liga outing at the helm on Sunday.

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September 29, 2020
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