first team / Champions League

Claude Puel's reaction

Published on the 19 December 2008 à 12:49 by R.B

The reaction from the coach after the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League...Barcelona, a huge club which doesn't bother him at all...

How do you feel about the outcome of the draw?
« It doesn’t bother me. It’s going to be a huge game; Barcelona are the in-form side of the last 6 months. At least I won’t have any problems motivating my players. We will be looking to qualify, even if it is Barcelona and the return leg is in Spain. At the end of the day, if you want to win the competition you have to knock out the best teams. We will be outsiders, but we will have our chances. Yes, it will be the reunion with Eric Abidal… it’s a shame for him (laughs). It is definitely motivating to play against Barcelona. When I played for Monaco against them, Guardiola was on the pitch. Barcelona’s strong points? They have so many. Weaknesses? We’ll see. First and foremost we will play our game. The answers will come from the squad after all ».

Does this remind you of your time at Lille?
« Yes, we played against Manchester and AC Milan. At the peril of repeating myself, anything is possible. We’ll have to see where the teams are in February and March. We are always present in the face of adversity ».

A word on Fred’s declarations?
« We’re in the period just before the transfer window. People often have problems at this time of the year, it gets things talked about. Fred has been questioning things since the return game against Fiorentina. Fred, we are counting on him and his qualities. He will be staying with us until the end of the season. A remplacement? We always have our eyes open, but bar a miracle, it would appear to be more than complicated ».