Once the Paris Saint-Germain FC players shook off the bitter taste of elimination at Camp Nou they were left with two dominant emotions.
First, that they had played defiantly and with elegant attacking intentions. And second that, even when not fully fit, Lionel Messi had cost them a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Gregory van der Wiel told UEFA.com that he had opted to focus on the positives – how close PSG came to glory; how well they had performed across the 180 minutes of the tie with FC Barcelona, which they lost on away goals after a 1-1 draw; and how far he believes a team still under construction have come in their first full season under Carlo Ancelotti.
Gregory van der Wiel, PSG defender
Of course we are proud – we did a great job against one of the best teams in the world. We've drawn twice against Barcelona so that's certainly something to be proud of. Tactically the coach asked us to do a lot of things. You have to watch out for Barcelona, you can't let them play their game. We had to press them as much as possible and, most importantly, to have the courage to play our own game.
It could be that Barcelona are a different team when Messi doesn't play. We all know he's a fantastic footballer, he can decide games on his own. But tonight we had the chance to win here. You saw the crowd when he came on and how they reacted. I guess it was a big boost to the team too. Of course we leave a little disappointed but most of all we can be proud of how far we have come.
Salvatore Sirigu, PSG goalkeeper
Today we really played well. We gave everything. We started very well and knew when to attack and when to defend. In the end, we are proud even if there are regrets, because it was possible to go through.
Javier Pastore, PSG forward
We produced a great display. We showed you can play well here and you can attack Barcelona. Unfortunately they found the goal they needed to put them in the last four. Messi was their decisive player. Once they scored they were a different proposition. They were relaxed and playing as they like to. It was imperative we stopped them scoring but it seems they always get a goal at the Camp Nou.
Christophe Jallet, PSG defender
We produced a huge effort tonight. We didn't fear them and played our game. We caused them problems from the off, and I think they were nervous and not far from going out.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.