PSG to play Barcelona in Champions League
Ben McPartland · 15 Mar 2013, 13:08
Published: 15 Mar 2013 13:08 GMT+01:00
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The Parc des Princes in Paris will welcome Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and co after PSG were handed a plum draw against European giants Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Carlo Ancelotti's team could not have hoped for a tougher draw but it will give the big-spending French club a chance to test themselves against a team widely considered to be the best in the world.
"I think it's brilliant to play Barcelona. I'm very happy but it'll be very difficult... Barca have a lot of experience, quality and confidence but PSG have a chance of going through. We'll have to play the full 180 minutes," Ancelotti told television channel Be-In Sport.
PSG have already beaten a Spanish club in this year's Champions League, knocking out Valencia in the previous round to reach their first quarter-final since 1995. They will come up against a Barca team high on confidence after thrashing Milan 4-0 in the Nou Camp on Tuesday to progress at the expense of the Italian giants.
That impressive win, which came after the Catalan team lost 2-0 in the first leg, will fill many at PSG with a certain amount of dread.
"It's the most difficult draw... And I'm not only talking about their last game but because of what they've achieved in the last few seasons," said PSG's Brazilian sporting director Leonardo.
PSG face an ominous task against the four-times European champions but at least the omens are good. The last time PSG reached this stage of the competition 18 years ago they came up against Barcelona, and won (see video below). The French team earned a 3-2 victory over two legs before being knocked out in the semi-finals by Milan.
After their scare against Milan, Barcelona will not be taking the French league leaders lightly.
"We have just had an experience in the last 16 which means we ought to be prudent. PSG have very good players with a lot of talent. They've got experience and know how to play these type of games. I'm sure they'll fight to the end, said Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta.
"They are very competitive and, moreover, we will come up against various players we know well."
Beckham, Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and co would no doubt settle for the same again.
The tie will be played over two legs with the first match taking place at the Parc des Princes on April 2nd/3rd and the return game at the Nou Camp on April 9th/10th.