Barcelona star Andres Iniesta insists the Catalan giants will play tonight's Champions League quarter-final second leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain as if it was the final itself.
Barcelona have reached the Champions League semi-finals in every season since 2008. The 2009 and 2011 winners, however, saw their run come to an end at that very stage of the competition in 2008, 2010 and 2012, when they failed to overpower Manchester United, Inter Milan and Chelsea respectively.
Nevertheless, Barcelona are willing to reach the last four again this year as part of their quest for this season’s Champions League title. Hence, Iniesta has underlined that playing at their best will be key to beating PSG on Wednesday.
“We are playing for a spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League,” the Spanish star told Barcelona's official website. “We are going to play at home in front of our people and the result from the away leg is not bad, but we will be forced to play a nearly perfect game.”
Further emphasising Barca’s need to excel in the second leg of their quarter-finals encounter against French giants PSG, Iniesta added: "We will play against Paris Saint-Germain as if it were a final."
Both sides had to settle for a 2-2 draw last week. Lionel Messi netted the opening goal in the first half, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled PSG level from an offside position. Xavi then converted from the spot on 89 minutes, but a wrong-footed Victor Valdes was unable to stop Blaise Matuidi’s long-range shot in stoppage time.
Meanwhile, there are still doubts over Messi’s availability for the return leg in Spain. Although the Argentinian trained with the first team on Tuesday, coach Tito Vilanova is expected to make his final decision just hours before kick-off.
Should Messi be declared unfit to start, Cesc Fabregas will most likely make it into the starting line-up.
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