Paris Saint-Germain veteran Thiago Silva has passed judgement on France’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and said the country is “not succeeding in protecting itself.”
Silva, 35, returned to Brazil shortly before France went into lockdown on Tuesday. The coronavirus has resulted in nearly 12,000 deaths from a little less than 290,000 confirmed cases worldwide as of Saturday.
France has reported almost 13,000 cases of COVID-19—seventh among all countries—but is so far the fourth-worst affected in terms of deaths, with 450 as of Saturday.
Silva told SporTV that he’s quarantining in Rio de Janeiro and is “frightened by what’s happening,” suggesting he’s hopeful his country reacts better than his adopted home:
“President [Emmanuel] Macron took inspiration from the situation in Italy to take quarantine measures. But, despite it being attentive to what is happening in a neighbouring country, France has not really succeeded in protecting itself. In Brazil, we maybe have time still. I hope that the crisis will not be as intense as in Europe. That is our hope.”
The defender also aimed criticism at those not treating the pandemic seriously enough, encouraging people to “stay at home and hope that everything returns to normal as soon as possible.”
Silva’s wife, Isabele, recently explained the family’s reason for returning to Brazil rather than remaining in Paris during the lockdown, via podcaster Jeremy Smith:
Brazil has so far confirmed 11 deaths from around 1,000 cases of the coronavirus, a mortality rate of around 0.1 percent.
Former Brazil captain Silva faces an uncertain future at the Parc des Princes considering his contract is due to expire in June, though it’s expected those terms could be at least temporarily extended with the season likely to run past that point.