The FC Barcelona assistant manager says that qualifying for the semi-finals of the Champions League for the sixth consecutive season “is a very important and extraordinary feat. The people should be proud”
Jordi Roura knows it’s not easy to get to the semi-finals of the Champions League. If you add today’s feat to the team’s five consecutive prior semi-final berths, Barça’s run the Europe becomes even more impressive. The assistant manager declared, “it’s a very important and extraordinary success. I think people should be proud.” Roura went on to say that the team’s objective is to get to the final. “Our ambition doesn’t stop here, we will fight as hard as we can in the semi-finals to reach the final, and win it.”
On today’s match, Tito Vilanova’s assistant commented that “it was very complicated. PSG have a great team. If we weren’t on our game during periods of the match it’s because our rival played well.”
Messi plays vs PSG
Leo Messi’s participation in the match was decided on before the ball starting rolling. “We had thought about it. We knew that he could play a determined amount of time and if the result wasn’t favourable, he would play. He was part of the play leading up to Pedro’s goal this evening and from that point on he let off a bit,” said Roura, who added that “at this point he doesn’t have any physical problems.” Roura went on to congratulate the Argentine for “not losing his hunger for competing. We need to enjoy this once in a lifetime player.”
In addition to Messi, Roura went on to congratulate all of his players: “Besides Leo, all of the players played at a very high level. When faced with adversity they have the necessary perseverance to carry on and achieve these types of comebacks.”
“Valdés was fantastic”
One of the players that received most of the plaudits from the assistant manager was Víctor Valdés. “He was fantastic. Once again he gave us confidence and strength, especially on set pieces.” Roura also made note of the “courage” displayed by Marc Bartra, who came in for the injured Adriano.
The assistant manager added that “Adriano doesn’t have any problems, his calf muscles cramped up.”
The Club’s director of football says that “we knew how to suffer” in order to defeat Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals of the Champions League
Andoni Zubizarreta, FC Barcelona’s director of football, was very pleased with the team’s qualification to the semi-finals of the Champions League: “we knew how to suffer, we gathered ourselves and we found the spaces, and we were able to get the equaliser after the 0-1.” According to Zubizarreta, PSG were a very demanding side. “They are a team that play great football, they attack you from the outside and that’s what hurt us. But we, for better or for worse, are like those famed Manchester United or Bayern Munich teams, who were always a threat,” he said.
“We will go up against a great team”
He added: “it feels like it’s a duel between the Spanish and German leagues and I really have no preference. I don’t care if we play first at home or away.” The Club’s director of football went on to say that Barça had worked “very hard in the tie in order to be present in the draw on Friday.”
Praise for Valdés and Messi
Lastly, Zubizarreta had special words of praise for Messi and Valdés. On the Argentine he said that “he has a sort of footballing power about him and he’s capable of intimidating opponents despite not being completely fit.” On Valdés, he said, “he’s a keeper that works diligently on his concentration and I have a feeling that he could have saved Pastore’s shot if it hadn’t deflected off Alves first.”
No other team have managed to equal FC Barcelona’s feat of qualifying for the semi-final round of the European competition for six consecutive seasons
The last time Barça were eliminated before the penultimate round was in the 2006/07 season
It’s not easy to start a tradition, but FC Barcelona have managed to become a near permanent fixture in the semi-finals of the Champions League. This Wednesday, Tito Vilanova’s men qualified for the penultimate round of the European competition for the sixth consecutive time, a feat that no other team have managed to equal since the competition adopted it’s current format (1992/93).
In fact, the old record was broken last season, when Barça clinched its fifth consecutive semi-final berth. Juventus (from 1995 to 1999) and Real Madrid (from 1999 to 2003) made four straight semi-final appearances over a decade ago.
From Rijkaard to Vilanova
FC Barcelona continue to be the focal point of European football; champions twice over from the last four editions of the competition, the team have always been in the top four best clubs of the continent since the 2007/08 season. In that season, the last of Frank Rijkaard’s tenure on the Barça bench, Barça were eliminated in the semis by Manchester United.
With Josep Guardiola as the head man in Can Barça, the team continued to flourish on the continental stage as he led his men to four straight semi-final berths, and winning the title in 2009 and 2011. Now, with Tito Vilanova as the head manager, Barça continues to do well in the Champions League.
Barça has trained for the last time before hosting Paris Saint Germain in this evening’s Champions League quarter final
Barça has trained for the last time before hosting Paris Saint Germain in this evening’s Champions League quarter final second leg
Messi, Pedro and Adriano, who have not been declared fit, were all able to train on the stadium pitch
The team trained at midday on Wednesday in the Camp Nou just a matter of hours before tonight’s crunch Champions League encounter with Paris Saint Germain kicks off at the same place. The 20 players named in the squad, including Messi, Pedro and Adriano, despite these not having been declared fit, were involved.
The team’s aim tonight will be to make good of the 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes. After training, the players left the stadium and made for their hotel. They will have lunch there and at 18.20 will be having an afternoon snack before being transferred to the Camp Nou. The game against PSG kicks off at the usual UCL time of 20.45.
[All about the pre-match]
All details about the 2nd leg at Camp Nou: News, photos, videos…
All details about the 2nd leg at Camp Nou: News, photos, videos…
– FC Barcelona – París Saint-Germain: Semi-final place at stake
– Messi trains with the team
– Roura: “Only victory guarantees us a spot in the semi-finals”
– Iniesta: “We’ll play against Paris Saint-Germain as if it were a final”
– Ancelotti: “We need to be confident and show our character at the Camp Nou”
– Quarter finals at the Camp Nou: plenty of goals!
– Piqué will play his 50th match as a FC Barcelona player in the Champions League
– FC Barcelona-Paris Saint-Germain: Did you know…
– Barça have shown they can overcome injuries for big Champions League games
– PSG and Zaragoza mark the agenda this week
– Barça’s history against French teams is pretty good
– Xavi: “This generation can achieve further success”
– First training session focussed on PSG
1st leg: PSG-FCB (2-2)
– PSG v FCB: Post-match review
– 2-2, historically an excellent result for FC Barcelona
– Xavi Hernández promised Miquel, a 10-year-old child fighting cancer
– Facts and figures from the Paris game
– Xavi: “1-2 would have been the fairest result”
– Mascherano picks up ligament injury; out of action for six weeks
– Jordi Roura: “It’s a good result”
– Messi to undergo tests on Wednesday
– París Saint-Germain – FC Barcelona: Cruel finale in Paris (2-2)
– Day of preparation at the Ciutat Esportiva ahead of the Champions League match against PSG
– Historical nights at Camp Nou
– Another look at the PSG-Barça match
– PSG – FCB (2-2)
– FC Barcelona’s training session at the Parc des Princes
– Trip to Paris 01/04/2013