FC Barcelona have already mustered one memorable comeback in this season's UEFA Champions League and Gerard Piqué is planning another: "People can rely on this team."
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FC Barcelona have a mountain to climb as FC Bayern München visit the Camp Nou on Wednesday but Gerard Piqué feels if the fans get behind the team "anything is possible – we believe 100% we will turn this around".
Beaten 4-0 in Germany last week, Barcelona must do what no side has ever managed in the UEFA Champions League era – overturn a four-goal first-leg defeat – to reach a third final in five years. Piqué, however, points to the attacking arsenal at coach Tito Vilanova's disposal, saying: "Our team has great players. When I go onto the pitch and see Leo [Messi], Xavi [Hernández], Cesc [Fàbregas] and so on, I know we will win the match."
That winning mentality has led Barça to a record sixth successive UEFA Champions League semi-final and, despite the size of the task at hand, centre-back Piqué is dreaming of taking the next step. "If we can do it, it'll be a great achievement, but it [means] nothing if you reach the final and lose."
The Blaugrana can take heart from the last time they hosted Bayern, a 4-0 home win in the 2009 quarter-finals which featured two goals for Messi, and the fit-again Argentinian will be key again this time according to Piqué. "We know what Messi means – he's the best in the world and to have him in the team is great news," the 26-year-old stressed. "We need everyone, especially him. We will need to be very attacking and have Messi involved a lot. All our attackers need to be incisive, generate lots of chances and be strong in midfield."
As well as the talismanic No10, Piqué identifies the Camp Nou faithful as having a vital role to play. "We need the fans to back us and to make us feel like we aren't already out of the Champions League. The fans are grateful to this team and they deserve us to play well.
"We need to score as early as possible, to get more and more confident," the Spanish international added. "After losing 4-0 you doubt yourself, but as days go by, you suddenly believe you can do it. Football is very psychological. We have 90 minutes to hit Bayern psychologically, with the help of the fans. They could also score a goal and then for us to score six is a lot harder – but we believe."
With Barcelona having recovered from a 2-0 loss at AC Milan with a 4-0 home success in the round of 16, Piqué recognises the importance of keeping things tight at the back. "The defenders have always been there when we've needed them in the big games. We didn't concede at home to Milan and [only once] against Paris Saint-Germain FC. This team has a strong personality when we need it. People can rely on this team and I can promise the defence will play well.
"When we know opponents are good at set pieces, we have to be very focused on that. We know we're not as good as Bayern from corners, but you can't always control those situations. We know we have to avoid giving them away. The more attacking you are, the bigger the risk you take and the more goals you concede. In recent years, though, we have proved we can beat anyone, in any situation."