David Beckham is optimistic of reaching the Champions League semi-finals with PSG ©
April 9, 2013
David Beckham is confident Paris Saint-Germain have what it takes to end Barcelona's 20-game unbeaten home record and reach the Champions League semi-finals. Barcelona host Wednesday's quarter-final second leg and head into the game as firm favourites following last week's 2-2 draw in Paris.
A L'Equipe survey published on Tuesday showed 67% of French football fans feel their country's last representative in the competition will fall in Spain but, Beckham, 37, believes PSG can become the first team to claim a Champions League win at Barca since Rubin Kazan more than four years ago. "We have the ability to win the match. We have the players," the former England captain told beIN Sport. "It's a battle for 90 minutes every time you play Barcelona.
They have a lot of the ball, and it's always tough to play against teams like that, but we're capable of going to Barcelona and winning the match." PSG's leading scorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is well-acquainted with the Camp Nou, having played for the Blaugrana for a season. A rare lack of success during his time there, and his subsequent well-publicised criticism of then-coach Pep Guardiola, means the Sweden international's return is hotly anticipated.
The 2,300 travelling fans will be hoping the 31-year-old can help secure a shock result, but Beckham believes PSG's success has been built on much more than Ibrahimovic's prodigious talents. "Our team is united," he said. "Of course people expect a lot of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, that he's a leader with all his goals and that he scores. He's really a great player. He's been a key player at every club he's been at. He's a highly visible player for many people, but we have other important players, very talented players. We really play as a team."
PSG needed a controversial Ibrahimovic goal and Blaise Matuidi's injury-time equaliser to merely hold the visitors at the Parc des Princes, leaving L'Equipe to calculate they had only a 20% chance of making it through to the last four for the second time in the club's history. "I don't think the first-leg result was perfect," Beckham, a surprise starter in Paris, said. "Perfect is to win, especially when you're at home, but it's not too bad. We know what we have to do in Barcelona. We have to score and win the game."
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