Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Champions League anthem 'transforms' Real Madrid - Di Maria warns PSG

Champions League anthem 'transforms' Real Madrid - Di Maria warns PSG

For them, it all comes down to what they can do in Europe, where they have enjoyed such success in the past.

Last season Real became the first team to retain the Champions League and won La Liga for the first time since 2012.

The French side has invested huge sums notably to sign Neymar as they chase the dream of winning the Champions League, although they have not made it beyond the quarter-finals since the Qatari takeover of the club in 2011.

"I am not thinking about my future".

"That is what is important".

Failure to succeed in the Champions League this term, following the disappointments in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, could bring about big changes at Real in the summer and if Ronaldo opts to move on, Neymar will be seen as the ideal replacement. The Basque side have scored just eight times at home in the league this season in 11 games, and there were jeers around San Mames after another toothless display.

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This is the first time that Zidane, a World Cup victor with France, has come up against a side from his home country as a coach.

"Over 180 minutes, PSG are a great team". He still has many things to achieve with us and he did a lot in order to come and play with us. "I think it's one of the few clubs in football nowadays [that] can change nine players and you still see the starting XI and you say, "wow, this is a good team".

Neymar has since averaged a goal a game in a PSG shirt, including scoring six times in the group stage of the Champions League.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor was also unhappy last summer and considered leaving Real Madrid, before changing his mind and deciding to stay.

Either Nacho or Raphael Varane will deputise at right-back, with the other partnering captain Sergio Ramos in the centre.

It is the most eagerly anticipated of all the last-16 match-ups and PSG's aim is to prove they've progressed from exiting the competition at this stage 12 months ago to Barcelona.

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The visitors: Paris Saint-Germain, the upstarts who bulldozed soccer's transfer record to hitch Neymar to the Qatari-funded mission to join soccer's elite.

"We lost an incredible match but it is just part of the development of the club", PSG striker Edinson Cavani told Spanish sports daily Marca.

We have to focus on the here and now and we are more ready for the challenge this season than we were last term.

PSG veteran midfielder Thiago Motta is ruled out through injury.

The Ligue 1 side led 4-0 after the first leg but Barcelona smashed them 6-1 in the second to overturn the biggest deficit in the competition's history.

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