Monday 19 March 2018

Alves: 'We must send a message with win'

Champions League: PSG v Real Madrid, Live TV3/BT Sp 2, KO 7.45

Paris St Germain's Dani Alves
Paris St Germain's Dani Alves

Paris St Germain's Dani Alves wants to "send a message to Europe" by ending Real Madrid's Champions League defence tonight.

The former Barcelona full-back is used to high-profile clashes with Los Blancos and is relishing the challenge of turning around a 3-1 first-leg deficit.

Adrien Rabiot's opener in Madrid was not enough to put PSG on top in the tie, with Cristiano Ronaldo's double and a Marcelo strike giving Real the advantage, but the away goal gives them hope with a 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes sufficient to progress.

Alves said: "It's a challenge for us, an opportunity to change the course of our history and eliminate the holders of the title.

"We could have had a better result in the first leg. We were superior in the game and had the better chances. It made us think we can knock them out.

"There is no greater motivation. We are going to try to knock out a strong opponent and send a message to Europe.

"We have to start the match with this mentality. We have to believe and we have to do it."

Coach Unai Emery echoed his player's thoughts, claiming: "I want to see the best Real because I think we can beat them.

"It is a unique moment, a big chance to take a step forward in front of our supporters."

Kylian Mbappe and Marquinhos returned to training on Sunday and Javier Pastore followed suit yesterday, meaning Neymar is PSG's only absentee.

Despite a recent improvement in form, coach Zinedine Zidane's future at the club may still depend on further European success.

He said: "We are focused and ready to have a great game. The only thing we have to worry about is this match, in which we will be 11 against 11, with a referee who will do his job."

On the absence of Neymar, Zidane added: "For us nothing changes in the sense that there will just be another highly motivated player in his place."

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