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Infamous Barcelona president talks Barcelona 6-1 PSG from 2017 – ‘Neymar took responsibility’



Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As Barcelona prepare to take on PSG in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League, one cannot help but remember the epic comeback they pulled over the same opposition in 2017.

The date – March 8th 2017 – still sends shivers up the spine of every Barcelona fan. That was the night Catalonia truly flowered and the team pulled off one of the greatest performances in Champions League history.

La Remontada, as it is famously called, saw Barcelona pull a 6-1 win over the French side to overturn a 4-0 first-leg deficit. Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Luis Suarez were all on the field on the night, but it was a certain Sergi Roberto who grabbed a last-gasp winner to send Barça through.

Speaking to MARCA earlier today, former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu commented on the historic comeback the team mounted during his presidency and relived the special night.

“It was very important that there were three weeks between the two legs. It allowed us to prepare conscientiously. We talked a lot with the players,” he began, speaking on how they prepared for La Remontada consciously.

On the preparation before the game

The president revealed that the club went all out to boost the dressing room’s morale for the game, even calling other famous sportspersons to motivate the players.

“I remember that they brought a couple of American football players who had won some games with brilliant comebacks and had won the Super Bowl. They were in Europe and we took the opportunity for them to come and talk to the soccer players.”

“We invited some of them to the box. Joaquín Valdés had a lot to do with this aspect. They were in the locker room and training,” he added.

Continuing on how the administration’s efforts had a tangible effect on the dressing room and their determination to turn the tie around, Bartomeu said,

“In the days training sessions leading up to the game, there was already a very important tension because there was a lot of desire for the game to arrive.”

“In those previous days and also in the warm-up I remember that there was fire in our eyes. I remember that there was beginning to be a deep conviction that we would qualify,” he added.

As the game approached closer, Bartomeu revealed that he could see fear in the eyes of the PSG staff after the Parisiens arrived in Spain for the game.

“In the previous meal, I began to see Nasser and his fearful managers. They told us that we were still the favourites!”

“At the exit, I said to my managers: ‘Guys, I’ve seen them sh*t, I think we’re going to win,’ because that distrust in the command is transferred to the players,” he elaborated.

On the game itself

Barcelona began the game in tremendous spirits, quickly going up 3-0 and threatening to complete the comeback.

An Edinson Cavani stunner, however, seemingly crushed all hopes of qualification as Barcelona suddenly required three more goals with the away-goals rule.

“Some players were touched. That’s when Neymar threw the team on his back. It was the key,” Bartomeu said, speaking about when Neymar turned up the heat at Camp Nou.

The president went on to take the Spanish outlet through the reactions of Nasser Al-Khelaifi in the box throughout the game, especially after Edinson’s Cavani goal.

“Nasser reacted like they had the winner and with five minutes to go with 3-1 on the scoreboard he left the box. I didn’t like this. He wanted to wait for his players on the ground. Well, we scored three goals at that time,” he said on the Parisian administrator’s overconfidence.

“The only bad thing about that match is that it was the beginning of the end of the trident because Neymar went to Paris in the summer. And also that with that triumph we already thought we were European champions and we paid for it with Juve,” he continued, speaking about the negatives the game inevitably brought.

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