David Luiz apologised to fans of his old club Chelsea FC and said Paris Saint-Germain's belief never wavered, despite twice falling behind after Zlatan Ibrahimović was sent off.
Article top media content
Paris Saint-Germain's remarkable win at Stamford Bridge was built on honesty and a fierce determination to give everything until the last minute, said David Luiz, who savoured their success while apologising to his former club Chelsea FC.
Just how much Paris's advance into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals meant to the Brazil defender was evidenced in the emotional reaction to his 86th-minute bullet header that restored parity at 1-1 on the night. And again at the final whistle following extra time, which came shortly after Thiago Silva had nodded a dramatic second equaliser to make it 3-3 on aggregate and clinch victory for the visitors on away goals.
"Every single player gave everything on the pitch and it is a great result for Paris the city and Paris the club," said Luiz. "We deserved it and even in the last minute we tried to play football.
"This is what can be achieved when the team has this feeling. When you can look each other in the eye and say, 'We can do this, let's believe until the end.'"
Losing Zlatan Ibrahimović to a 31st-minute red card made the achievement even more memorable for the player who was returning to Stamford Bridge for the first time since crossing the Channel last summer. There were some nice moments afterwards when Luiz took time to hug members of the Chelsea groundstaff who were out repairing the pitch.
"I'm sorry for the emotion I showed [after scoring the goal]," the 27-year-old added. "It was difficult for me because I was so happy to win but I was also so happy at Chelsea. All the supporters and every single person in the club tried to help me from my first day at Chelsea to the last.
"We will try and win the [UEFA] Champions League but we know there is a long way to go and we will try and keep our feet on the floor."