Thiago Silva: PSG have 'already forgotten' UCL loss to Barcelona
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva has insisted that he and his teammates have completely forgotten about last season's Champions League last-16 second leg humiliation away at Barcelona, and are focused solely on this new edition of the competition.
The French capital outfit took a 4-0 lead against the Spanish giants at Parc des Princes but contrived to ultimately lose 6-5 after a 6-1 capitulation at Camp Nou.
PSG have since signed Neymar from Barca for €222 million, as well as Kylian Mbappe, Dani Alves and Yuri Berchiche and Silva told journalists at Celtic Park on the eve of the opening Group B clash with the Scottish giants that the Catalonia episode is now firmly buried in the past.
"We have forgotten that already," the Brazil international declared at PSG's prematch news conference. "It is now a new Champions League."
"We are ready to make a strong start. This competition is very special, we are motivated to put in a good performance, to win the match and to bring home all three points. We respect this team [Celtic] as they are Champions League regulars."
Coach Unai Emery echoed his skipper's sentiments and emphasised his players' hunger ahead of their opening group stage encounter.
"We are full of desire to get our Champions League campaign underway. We have an important goal [ultimate victory] and we want to get started in confident fashion."
"With that confidence, we want to get the job done. I think it will be a tough match, though. We are full of desire and confidence coming into this."
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola finds himself under pressure after a shaky performance in the 5-1 win away at Metz last week, and speculation has suggested that Emery will start Kevin Trapp against Celtic.
However, the Spaniard took the opportunity to state his confidence in the French shot-stopper and Silva followed suit.
"We have two very good goalkeepers," said Emery. "Alphonse is a good player and he will show that he is ready. I am happy with both. They are working hard each day.
"Alphonse started this season in goal because he deserves it. The entire team has confidence in him.
Silva added that "we have two good goalkeepers and both are very important" and that "either could play and they both have the coach's backing."
Emery also fielded questions on Adrien Rabiot's growing importance to this PSG side.
He said: "when I arrived, he was already on his way to being an integral figure in the squad," before adding that he and the club's fans know that the France international can get better still before his immense potential is fulfilled.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.