Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has spoken about the club's aims for their Champions League semi-finals second leg against Bayern Munich, who come into Wednesday's match with a 4-0 lead.
The former Manchester United starlet admitted that the first leg result was one that had taken their second-leg challenge to an unusual level, but he says the team have not given up hope.
Laying emphasis on the benefits of mental power, he pointed up the fact that “football is also psychological”.
In fact, it is that special mental advantage that Barcelona have been making the most of these past few years - terrifying opponents simply by stepping on the field.
However, unfortunately for them, they happen to be in an uncommon situation, where they are up against a team that has yet to give them the extra respect they usually benefit from.
It is for this reason that Pique believes Barcelona’s players have to throw everything they have in this contest.
“We need to be ourselves,” the defender said in his pre-match press conference. “We cannot feel as though we have already been eliminated.”
Referring to the plan his team had in mind, he added: “An early goal would give us a lot of confidence.”
It was an early goal from Lionel Messi after only five minutes that powered Barca to their breathless 4-0 win over AC Milan in the Round of 16.
Now, Pique thinks that re-employing this strategy, along with an aggressive style of play, would be enough for Barcelona to choke their visitors on Wednesday evening.
Like his manager and team-mates, the father-of-one asserted that Messi will be central to their hopes of reaching the final.
“We need to have possession and move the ball quickly,” he added. “We have to be very offensive, the wide backs have to push forward and Messi has to be part of the game.”
With Real Madrid’s 4-3 aggregate defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night, all hopes of a Clasico final at Wembley have definitely come to end.
As the idea of an all-German final is now looking more than likely, Barcelona’s confidence of revitalising themselves is mounting.
“The only team that can fight back from a 4-0 deficit against this Bayern Munich is this Barca.”
These words from Gerard Pique will be tested when Slovenian referee Damir Skomina blows the opening whistle at the Estadio Camp Nou on Wednesday night.
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