Paris Saint-Germain’s coach Unai Emery attends his team training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match Paris-Saint Germain vs Arsenal, on September 12, 2016 at the Ooredoo training centre in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, outside Paris
FRANCK FIFE / AFP
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) boss Unai Emery is upbeat over his side’s chances of getting past Real Madrid and advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Despite topping Group B, the runaway Ligue 1 leaders were dealt perhaps the toughest possible hand in drawing the reigning champions.
PSG were dumped out in the round of 16 by Barcelona last term as their 4-0 first leg advantage was spectacularly overturned in a 6-5 aggregate defeat.
Emery is undaunted by a similar challenge this time around.
“I think it is a good draw. I believe we can compete with Real Madrid,” Emery told UEFA.com.
“To make something great in the UEFA Champions League, you need to beat the best teams. The last 16 is a good moment to play such teams.
“We will need to show our character, our tactical skills and our talent. Talent is very important.”
Unlike last season’s defeat, PSG will this time benefit from the second leg being played on home turf in March.
PSG’s assistant sporting director and former club legend Maxwell, who won the tournament with Barcelona in 2010-11, echoed Emery’s excitement.
“It is a good draw, with two good games to play. Our fans will like it after we were knocked out by Barcelona last season,” he said.
“It will be nice. It is a beautiful challenge for the club. I think we are ready for that.”