PSG might have wished for anyone but Barcelona especially over two legs as the Spaniards appeared to have found their misplaced mojo.
In Carlo Ancelotti, the French club do possess one of the best tactical minds in world football and a man who has intimate experience in this competition. PSG also posses the one ingredient that Barca fear most and that is pace. Ezequiel Lavezzi has settled well into Parisian life and is a deadly finisher and then there is the revenge factor.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes that he was run out of the Camp Nou during his brief stay in the Catalan capital while Thiago Motta is probably still smarting after falling victim to Sergio Busquets oscar winning performance in 2010 that saw him see red in their epic semi-final in Spain.
If there is a doubt about PSG it could be a lack of strong leaders when the going gets tough and trust me, it will.
All eyes will be on Lionel Messi as the Argentine continues to add superlatives after his name. One truly wonders what he’s going to do next however the worry must be what the team will do if he has one of his rare off days.
Barca do not look secure at the back and against a counter-attacking PSG, they’ll be more than a few nervous moments. Victor Valdes could be the key and overlooked man in this entire equation. The Barca keeper is capable of the exceptional and he’ll need to maintain absolute concentration throughout the 180 minutes.
Royalty or the pretenders…?
VIDEO: T&T women’s team gives away one of the most bizarre PKs
Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.