Paris ready for Barça declares president

FC Barcelona meet Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals for the second time in three years, with Paris president Nasser El-Khelaifi insisting his side are ready for the challenge.

Pedro Rodríguez celebrates a goal against Paris
Pedro Rodríguez celebrates a goal against Paris ©Getty Images

"Strength and courage" will be needed by Paris Saint-Germain according to Edinson Cavani as they renew acquintances with FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals, after the sides shared a win apiece in their 2014/15 group stage meetings. 

Draw analysis
• Paris and Barcelona were paired together in this season's group stage, Paris prevailing 3-2 at the Parc des Princes but losing 3-1 at the Camp Nou to finish second in Group F.

• The teams also faced off in the 2012/13 quarter-finals, Barcelona triumphing on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate draw, and in the 1997 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, where Barcelona's Ronaldo scored the only goal.

• Paris did get the better of Barcelona in the 1994/95 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, advancing 3-2 on aggregate. A 1-1 draw in Spain was followed by a 2-1 home success at the Parc des Princes, Raí and Vincent Guérin netting in the last 18 minutes to take Paris through.

• That matchday six defeat at Barcelona is Paris's only reverse in their last seven games against Spanish clubs.

• Barcelona have not won in their last four trips to France, stretching back to a 3-2 victory at Olympique Lyonnais in October 2001. September's loss in Paris was their only defeat in that sequence, however.

Reaction
Jordi Mestre, Barcelona vice-president
Paris are a side we know well. We have played each other a number of times, including in the group stage this season. They are a good team and we will have to fight a lot. In the quarter-finals every side is strong, but Paris are a very strong outfit and it will take a lot to beat them. In principle the fact Zlatan [Ibrahimović] and [Marco] Verratti are out for the first leg helps us because they are two very important players – and we also play the second leg at home.

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
We wanted to avoid the two teams starting with B [Bayern and Barcelona] and didn't succeed, and we play the return leg away. Plus we'll take on a Barcelona side top of their league with an amazing player in Messi. Consider that and it's not a very good draw for Paris, but I think Barcelona are not too happy to be playing us. It will be a difficult game, but I'm sure we're ready for that.

Maxwell, Paris defender
It's Barcelona − again. They're a composed team full of confidence. We're excited and have nothing to lose. We know Barcelona. They've lots of quality at the back and especially up front with fast, skillful players. It won't be easy, but the Parc [des Princes] will see a great game.

Nasser El-Khelaifi, Paris president
We all remember that fantastic match against Barça last September. Whatever happens, we will be looking to qualify. This tie is a real challenge for us. I have total confidence in our players, in the coach and his staff. They proved in the last 16 that with courage, determination and talent we can overcome the greatest of challenges.

Now more than ever, we are ready for these two exciting matches. It will be a very important moment in the history of this club, that has been waiting 20 years to play a Champions League semi-final. Our objective remains unchanged: to reach the highest possible level in Europe.

("Paris to take another step forward in Champions League. Strength and courage!")

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