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BRAZIL

Thiago Silva hopes "Zidane leaves Rodrygo on bench" for PSG-Madrid

Thiago Silva admitted he is not looking forward to coming up against his exciting young compartriot when PSG meet Real Madrid on November 27.

Thiago Silva hopes "Zidane leaves Rodrygo on the bench" for PSG-Madrid clash
SERGIO PEREZ REUTERS

Thiago Silva is currently training together with Rodrygo for the first time at Brazil’s training camp in Abu Dhabi, after Real Madrid’s young star of the moment received his first call up to the national team a few weeks ago.

But not long after they reconvene with their respective clubs following Brazil’s fixtures against Argentina and South Korea, the two players will go from team mates to opponents for the crunch tie between PSG and Madrid in the Champions League on November 27.

And the PSG central defender, for one, is hoping that he does not have to face the young Madrid attacker.

"I hope Zidane leaves him on the bench," Thiago Silva said jokingly when asked by AS at a press conference in Abu Dhabi about the rise of his young compatriot.

“I think it may come as a surprise to many that an 18-year-old lad has emerged in this way, with such a great personality. It's not just the way he plays. Look how he celebrates the goals, calmly and serenely.

“He’s not a presumptuous lad, eager for prominence. He knows what he wants from his career at a very young age and already has great experience.”

PSG will pay special attention to Rodrygo – Thiago Silva

Rodrygo became the youngest ever player to score a perfect hat-trick in the Champions League last week against Galatasaray, perhaps helped by the fact that he sometimes slipped under the radar of the Turkish side’s defence. And Thiago Silva noted that that is something he and his PSG team mates cannot allow to happen.

“He scored three goals in the Champions League,” he said.

"He is a player that we need to give special attention because his quality and talent speak for him. It will be a huge match between two very big teams. I hope our night is more inspiring than theirs."

Thiago Silva notes Rodrygo’s special qualities

The Brazil team had their first kick about earlier this Monday, with Thiago Silva getting up close and personal with Rodrygo for the first time and noting his special qualities.

“We have done a quick training session and in the ‘rondo’ it could be seen that his way of touching the ball is different,” said the PSG player.

“He’s skilled. I hope he can help us a lot now and in the future. Being in the national team is a unique opportunity and I hope he knows how to take advantage of his experience wisely."

Brazil face Argentina on Friday in the Saudi capital of Riyadh before the meeting with South Korea in Abu Dhabi four days later, where Madrid fans will hope to see Rodrygo play a part in either or both fixtures.