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Poch describes PSG’s UCL ambitions as a ‘big passion’ ahead of Barca showdown

Mauricio Pochettino has described Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League ambitions as a ‘big passion’ ahead of the club’s huge clash with Barcelona this evening.

PSG travel to face Barcelona in the first leg of a hugely anticipated last 16 meeting at the Camp Nou tonight, with both sides harbouring ambitions of reaching the latter stages and being crowned the continent’s finest.

PSG reached the final of the competition for the first time in their history last season before losing to Bayern Munich and enter this season’s knockout stages under new management, Pochettino having replaced the sacked Thomas Tuchel last month.

The Argentine previously guided Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019 and has set his sights on reaching the showpiece once more, outlining the Parisian’s ‘passion’ to finally succeed on the European stage this season.

“We are excited because there is so much passion around the club and this is a special game,” Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference.

“We would so like to win this coveted trophy, it is a very big passion. History is in the past and we are now in a different reality with different players. Whatever happens, the past is behind us.

“It is an obvious target for PSG to win the Champions League, that is our responsibility and the fans are excited about it as well.”

PSG will be looking to avenge defeat to Barcelona at the same stage in 2016/17 in one of the most astonishing knockout stage ties of all-time, the French side winning the home leg 4-0 before a 6-1 capitulation in the away fixture saw them crash out.

Pochettino’s side will, however, be without the services of Angel Di Maria and Neymar, with a groin injury set to rule the latter out of both meetings with his former side.

Read – Five of the best Champions League last 16 ties involving English sides

Read Also – The longest unbeaten away runs in Premier League history

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