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: Goalkeeping error grants Suarez, Uruguay gift
The complaints centered around tactics Andreas Heraf used in a recent home international against Japan and his comments to media after that match. Players reportedly objected to the defensive nature of Heraf’s tactics in the 3-1 loss.
New Zealand Football chief executive Andy Martin said at a news conference on Wednesday that his organization had received a letter from the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association, containing letters of complaint from 13 national team members.
Defending his approach at a news conference after the match, Heraf said the New Zealand players would never have the “quality” to compete with a team of Japan’s ability and might have lost 8-0 if they had not adopted a defensive style.
Further reports have emerged of player concerns about Heraf’s behavior, including allegations of bullying.
Martin was repeatedly questioned at the news conference about when New Zealand Football first had notice of the players’ concerns about Heraf. He insisted he was not aware of any problems until the letter from the NZPFA containing the players’ complaints was released on Monday.
In a statement, New Zealand Football Chairman Deryck Shaw said player welfare was “of utmost importance.”
“We hold player welfare as a matter of utmost importance and that is why we are conducting a thorough, independent review. We want to ensure we better understand these issues in an objective review. There is no place for inappropriate behavior of any kind with New Zealand Football.”
Ronaldo’s early tally gives Portugal win over Morocco
Christian Pulisic has been the subject of transfer talks for some time now after becoming an instant star at Borussia Dortmund, but one of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s former coaches says it might be wise for him to stay put; at least for now.
Former USMNT boss Bruce Arena spoke about Pulisic, who has had rumors of moves to Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United surrounding him recently.
Arena cited consistent playing time as the main reason why Pulisic may want to consider holding off on a transfer for now.
“I think Christian is in a great place. Dortmund has a very good reputation for developing players.
“In his couple years there with the first team, he’s done very well. Hopefully, he can continue to do that, be consistent at the club level, and if he does that, he’s going to be a real plus for the national team program.
“Any move Christian makes in the future, it’s important he goes to a club where he plays on a regular basis. There’s no point in him leaving Dortmund and going to a club where he doesn’t get the kind of minutes he needs to continue to develop.”
Pulisic has spent three seasons at Dortmund, scoring 12 goals in all competitions during that span.