Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva has insisted that he and his team-mates are not afraid to face in-form Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, but heaped praise on the teen sensation.
The Ligue 1 and Bundesliga sides will lock horns in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday, with Dortmund playing host to the team managed by their former head coach, Thomas Tuchel, in the first leg on Tuesday.
While current Dortmund boss Lucien Favre will have to concoct a plan to deal with the threat posed by PSG forward Kylian Mbappe, the Swiss manager has a young striker of his own in Haaland to cause the French outfit problems.
Haaland, a January signing from Red Bull Salzburg, has hit a whopping nine goals and registered a further assist in just 349 minutes of football for his new club, averaging a goal every 38.8 minutes.
And the 19-year-old’s blistering start to life in Germany has earned the praise of veteran PSG defender Silva, who will be tasked with keeping an eye on the striker in midweek.
“He scores a lot of goals,” Silva said to RMC Sport. “Nine goals in six games, it’s incredible, it’s huge.
“I hope that we will be able to be cautious and that he will not score against us, but rather after in the league.
“But for us it’s wonderful to play against a player like that, especially since he’s just started his career. He is very motivated, but so are PSG.”
Despite acknowledging Haaland’s outstanding talent as the striker got on the scoresheet once again in Dortmund’s 4-0 Bundesliga win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday, Silva insisted that PSG were not afraid to be facing the teenager.
“Are we afraid? We have no fear, but we have a lot of respect. I saw the match [against Eintracht], they have a lot of quality in front, they scored four goals, with incredible technique, movements that are difficult to fight.
“But if we are together, we can make a good match there. With great respect for these players, who are phenomenal.”