Champions League: Barcelona eye miraculous turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain
Three weeks on from suffering a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona still believe that a Champions League 'miracle' is possible at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Barcelona: Barcelona striker Neymar vowed his side will throw everything at Paris Saint-Germain in their bid to overturn a four-goal deficit in the Champions League last 16 this week.
PSG fired a significant warning of intent throughout Europe with a 4-0 rout of Barca in the French capital three weeks ago and will aim to complete the job in the return leg at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
But the Catalan giants go into the game buoyed by thumping 6-1 and 5-0 wins in their past two league matches and haven't given up hope of staging an unprecedented comeback.
No side has lost 4-0 away from home in Europe and gone through in a two-legged tie, but with Barca's prolific front three of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez they cannot be entirely discounted.
"Against PSG we will run and fight and then we will see what happens," said Neymar.
"It’s really important that our spirit is on the way up and our confidence too. I see us on the up and with confidence. On Wednesday we are going to play really well."
Barca knocked PSG out at the quarter-final stage in both 2012-13 and 2014-15, but the reigning French champions have the upper hand this time and January signing Julian Draxler is confident of reaching the last eight for the fifth year in succession.
"Many teams have lost 5-0 at the Camp Nou, we know that anything is possible," Draxler told PSG's club website. "But deep down I'm convinced we'll qualify for the quarter-finals.
"I think it will be important to attack and not just think about defending."
Barcelona believe in miracle
Three weeks on from the 4-0 humiliation at the hands of PSG, Barcelona still believe that a Champions League "miracle" is possible at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
"Hopefully we can produce a miracle," said midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
No side has ever overturned a 4-0 deficit in the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
"Evidently, it is very difficult, we are not stupid," accepted Enrique.
Yet, by announcing his decision to go at the end of the season, Enrique has calmed the waters that raged as Barca were torn apart by a faster, more determined and precise PSG, who enjoyed the glorious European night they had long waited for since Qatar Sports Investments starting pumping millions into the club six years ago.
Not everyone believes the tie is over, though.
"My advice to you, knowing Luis and the players a little, is not to talk too much, because they will be back and prove you wrong," former Barca and now Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had said about the first leg.
At the time very few, even in Barcelona, believed that. Now, 21 days on, they very much do.
Enrique spoke on Friday of the "relief" at ending speculation over his future.
And in following up a 6-1 thrashing of Sporting Gijon with the dismantling of Celta at the weekend, Barca had the air of a team with a weight removed.
"If the stars align we can turn that game around," Enrique added as he announced his decision last week.
"With this team you have to always believe," said Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez.
"We have a hugely difficult result against us against a magnificent team, but in football anything can happen."
If there is one side in world football with the firepower to dream it is Barcelona.
On top of Messi, Neymar has come back into goalscoring form in the past week, whilst Luis Suarez already has 26 goals this season.
Indeed, the results from over a third of Enrique's home games as Barca coach would be good enough to at least force the game to extra time.
That record includes all three of Barca's Champions League games this season as they dismantled Celtic (7-0), Manchester City (4-0) and Borussia Moenchengladbach (4-0) by a combined score of 15-0.
Meanwhile, Suarez is seeking inspiration from one of the best displays of the Enrique era as last season Barca thrashed eternal rivals Real Madrid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu with Messi only available for the last half hour on his return from injury.
"If we were capable of scoring four goals against Madrid at the Bernabeu, why can't we score four against Paris at the Camp Nou," the Uruguayan told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.
"If we score two then they can begin to get nervous that we can pull it off because we know we are capable of it."
PSG have come under heavy criticism after a 1-1 draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League.
Rodrygo snatched victory for Real as he flicked in with a minute to play in Milan, stunning Inter who had dominated much of the game and forced Thibaut Courtois into several saves.
PSG, backed by Qatar Sports Investment since 2011, reached the Champions League semi-finals last season and the final the year before that, but have never won the title.