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‘They have great players’ – PSG defender wary of Barcelona’s threat ahead of UCL clash

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking at a press conference today, PSG defender Achraf Hakimi stated that it would be wrong for them to focus on just one Barcelona star during their game tomorrow as the Catalans have many great players.

Barcelona and PSG lock horns for the second time in less than a week, as they take on each other in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Montjuic.

Hakimi, who missed the first leg of the quarterfinal last week due to suspension, is back in the squad and attended the press conference today, along with manager Luis Enrique.

The former Real Madrid man will likely end up in a direct battle against Raphinha, who scored a brace in the first leg last week. And when asked how he plans to stop the Barcelona winger, Hakimi replied:

“I don’t think it’s only Raphinha who can create danger for us. Barça have great players who can create danger for us. We must be compact to control their players and dominate the match.”

“I think our strength is our collective strength, not our individuality. When we attack or defend together we are better. If we dominate that, we have a better chance of winning the game,” he added.

Hakimi returns after missing the first leg. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

PSG will have some insider information about Barcelona thanks to Ousmane Dembele, who left the Catalans for the French champions last summer. On what the winger has told them about Barça, Hakimi said:

“The truth is that it’s not just him who knows Barça. They’ve spoken to us quite well about the players, we have to know what their strengths are and from there we have to try to control the game ourselves to win.”

On the hostile reception that PSG will likely receive tomorrow, Hakimi said: “I don’t think it will affect us. On the pitch, it’s 11 against 11 and we will try to show that we are ready. The fans shouldn’t influence us.”

PSG go into the game with a slight disadvantage, having lost the first leg 3-2 at home, but Hakimi vowed that the team will fight hard to turn things around, saying:

“It’s true that we’re at a disadvantage, but we want to change what happened in the first leg. We want to take the win to Paris.

“We’ve talked and we’ve motivated ourselves knowing what we have to do. We have trained to know how to win the match.”

On how the Parisians plan on approaching the game tomorrow, he added: “I think it’s the same idea as in the first leg, we have the style of play that the coach asked of us from the start. An attacking game and creating chances.”

Discussing what makes manager Luis Enrique stand apart, Hakimi remarked: “I think the main idea that sets him apart is the idea of dominating the game, not being in a hurry to attack. Creating triangles… It’s a daring football.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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