Xavi urges Barcelona fans to create red-hot atmosphere for PSG clash

By Sports Desk April 15, 2024

Barcelona boss Xavi wants the atmosphere to reach “boiling point” in the return leg of his side’s Champions League tie against Paris St Germain.

Barca hold a slender 3-2 advantage after the first leg in Paris last week as they bid to reach the semi-finals for just the second time in eight seasons since lifting the trophy in 2015.

Building work at the Nou Camp is ongoing as part of a £1.25billion refurbishment and Xavi has called on the club’s fans to turn their temporary home at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys into a cauldron.

He told a press conference: “We are playing at home and Montjuic (the stadium) has to be a big-night venue. It will have to be a boiling point atmosphere.

“We need the fans because there will be tricky moments and PSG will make us work hard and so at this time we have to be united.

“We will have to control ourselves and take the initiative, but it will be tough. PSG will come out attacking because (head coach) Luis Enrique will not sit back. I know him well and I know they will put us under a lot of pressure.

“We are up against one of best teams in the world, one of the most intense and they won’t gift us anything, and he is one of the best coaches in the world.”

Barca will be without captain Sergi Roberto and Andreas Christensen, who are both suspended after receiving yellow cards in Paris.

Xavi added: “The players banned, Sergi Roberto and Christensen, hurts us, it’s true, but the key against PSG will be to play as a team.

“If we can do it, regardless of names, we will have a great chance. We have to give it all to get to the semi-finals.”

PSG are bidding to progress to the last four for just the fourth time in their history and Enrique backed his side to come out on top.

The former Spain and Barcelona boss, who is boosted by the return of Morocco international Achraf Hakimi from suspension, told a press conference: “We are absolutely convinced that we will reverse the situation.

“Having assessed the (first leg) closely, we didn’t deserve to lose. A draw would have been a fair result, or we should have been the winner, but we accept it. We congratulate our opponents.

“But tomorrow our goal is to turn in a great performance, be brave and go for it from the first minute to make our fans happy, because that is what we all deserve.”

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