The Blaugrana trail a heavyweight last-16 encounter with Ligue 1 giants 4-1 on aggregate, but their manager is not about to throw in the towel
Ronald Koeman has declared that “nothing is impossible” for his Barcelona side as they prepare to go in search of a Champions League miracle against Paris Saint-Germain.
The Liga giants trail a heavyweight last-16 encounter 4-1 on aggregate, leaving them with a European mountain to climb at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
Their manager is, however, looking to remain bullish and insists continental dreams in Catalunya will not be dashed without a fight.
What has been said?
Koeman told reporters: “Nothing is impossible. We believe in ourselves. We know that at Barca you have to win and we are going to show this mentality that we have been demonstrating for a long time.
“I think nothing is impossible. We must be effective in the game to have options.
“This is complicated. PSG are strong and aspires to win the Champions League. To have an option to come back, you must play a game very effectively. We are going to try. We always go out to win and hopefully we can try.
“It will be very difficult. We play against a team like PSG that does not allow us to play much.”
Do Barcelona have history when it comes to turnarounds?
Back in 2017, the Blaugrana found themselves facing the same opposition at the round of 16.
PSG surged into a 4-0 lead on home soil and appeared to have at least one foot in the quarter-finals.
An epic fightback was to be staged by Barca, though, at Camp Nou as they turned a remarkable tie on its head.
A 6-1 win was enjoyed by Luis Enrique’s side, with current PSG star Neymar grabbing two of their goals.
Koeman has said on the chances of history repeating itself: “A 2017 repeat? I do not think PSG are afraid of us. Certainly their coach will prepare in the best way so that they do not think it’s an easy game. But these are totally different circumstances to come back from.
“It is easier playing the second leg at home than away. We must play our game, certainly they have confidence in their new coach.”
The bigger picture
Barca have already staged one dramatic comeback in cup competition this season, allowing them to book a place in the Copa del Rey final.
They required two goals in 90 minutes against Sevilla to keep their trophy ambitions alive there, and managed that before snatching an extra-time winner.
Koeman’s men will not have Neymar to worry about on Wednesday, with the Brazil international ruled out as he continues his recovery from injury, while there have been suggestions that Kylian Mbappe could be rested.
The French forward netted a stunning hat-trick at Camp Nou in February and will need to be watched closely if he does figure in Paris – either from the start or off the bench.