Ronald Koeman took over Barcelona in extremely uncertain times. Riddled with everything from injuries, a worldwide pandemic to a broken team spirit. Since he has taken over from his predecessor, the Dutchman has managed to give many youngsters their first-team debut and has succeeded with the team overall.
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However, Barcelona had a disastrous first leg against Paris Saint-Germain with a 4-1 aggregate, where Kylian Mbappe got the best of them. The Catalans face the French giants on Wednesday and victory will surely be an uphill climb.
Despite the odds not being in their favor, Koeman remains positive and believes in his team.
“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.”
“We are going to try. We always go out to win and hopefully we can try.”
While the manager’s words surely inspire confidence in the team and fans alike, PSG are very tough contenders, and beating them obviously won’t be an easy feat. The former Everton manager admits the difficulty of the task and assures that he is not taking the matter lightly.
“PSG are strong and aspires to win the Champions League.”
“It will be very difficult. We play against a team like PSG that does not allow us to play much.”
Barcelona have history on their side
Meanwhile, optimistic fans are hoping for history to repeat itself. In 2017, in a similar situation in the round of 16, the Blaugranes were 4-0 down to PSG, and in a miraculous turn of events, Barca enjoyed a 6-1 win, knocking the French team out to take a place in the quarter-finals. The manager disagrees and is hoping for a good game but states these are entirely different circumstances.
“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.”
However, the Catalans then had Neymar Jr. playing for their side and he managed to net 2 goals. Barca have been granted some reprieve as the Brazilian, now a PSG talisman has been ruled out, but the Ligue 1 side still remains as formidable opponents.
Speaking of turnarounds, Koeman’s men recently pulled off an epic comeback against Sevilla after being 2-0 down in the first leg. Surely fans are hoping for a similar show of skill for the Champions League match.
As we eagerly await the clash on Wednesday, Koeman’s positive message is certainly inspiring.