Ronald Koeman was in defiant mood ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and is refusing to give up hope of an unlikely comeback.
The Catalan giants trail 4-1 after the first leg at the Camp Nou, but the Dutchman told a pre-match press conference on Tuesday that “nothing is impossible” when asked about his team’s chances of progressing.
An early goal at the Parc des Princes would offer Barca hope of pulling off a shock comeback, and Koeman urged his team to start the game strongly, as reported by ESPN.
“It depends on how we start the game, the energy we put into making it difficult for PSG and on being clinical,” he explained, “They were very clinical in the first game, so we will have to match that in the return match. We always create chances, but we will have to be effective. If we are, nothing is impossible.”
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Koeman Demands Perfect Performance
Koeman also called on his players to be at their best if they are to beat PSG. The Catalan giants head into the match on a good run of form, with Saturday’s win over Osasuna making it 16 games unbeaten in La Liga.
Barcelona is also into the final of the Copa del Rey after coming from 2-0 down to beat Sevilla 3-2, and the Dutch boss knows he needs his team, and captain Lionel Messi, to produce a perfect display.
“Of course, if we think about coming back we need each and every single player at their very best,” he said. “If on top of that Leo is able to have one of the best games in his whole career then anything is possible because he is a player who can decide any game in any moment. But I don’t want to give Leo any more pressure, the entire team needs to be at their best and we need the luck factor as well.”
Belief Key For Barca
Barca midfielder Frenkie de Jong also attended the press conference and said his team-mates do believe they can get the result required to progress to the quarter-finals, are reported by Sport.
“I think you should always believe, it starts with belief, so we believe we can come back,” he explained. “We have to show it tomorrow, we will see how it goes tomorrow but we always have belief that we can come back from behind, for sure.”
De Jong has emerged as a key player for Barcelona this season and has been a regular in the starting XI. The Netherlands international has chipped in with six goals and five assists in all competitions and will have a big role to play at the Parc des Princes.
However, the 23-year-old is still waiting to score his first Champions League goal for Barcelona since joining from Ajax in summer 2019 but would surely love nothing better than to open his account against PSG tomorrow.