Confident Barcelona Sure Of Overturn
Barcelona needs to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit when they clash with the German-side Bayern Munich in their semi-final second leg at home on Wednesday.
Current Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was on the losing side on one of those occasions.
The 67-year-old was in charge of the Borussia Moenchengladbach side that beat Real Madrid 5-1 at home in the 1985-86 UEFA Cup third round only to lose the return game 4-0.
Elimination for Barca on Wednesday would leave La Liga as their only chance of silverware this season.
They have an 11-point lead over current champions Real Madrid with five games left and are close to a fourth title in five seasons.
However, a domestic league crown would be seen as a poor return for a team who have set a new standard for European clubs in recent seasons and won the Champions League in 2009 and 2011.
But coach Tito Vilanova said they would never give up despite their chances were not high.
“We are Barca and we cannot give up on a qualifier. There are still 90 minutes left. I don’t feel Bayern think it is over either though they are better off. If we lose, at least we have to do it holding our heads high and playing till the end of the match — not putting our arms down — and making our fans proud of us,” he told a news conference.
Hopes are high of seeing World Player of the Year Lionel Messi in the starting line-up after shaking off a hamstring injury that didn’t allow him to play at his top level in the first match.
But Vilanova said it would not be fair to put all the pressure on the Argentine, despite his key role in the qualifier.
“We all know how important Leo is when he is close to the goal. The better he feels, the better we will be off. But we cannot put all the pressure on him or his performance. We need to help him. He makes the other players better and they have to help him as well. But of course he will have something to say in a qualifier like this one,” the 44-year-old coach said.
Centre-back Gerard Pique said the clash against the Germans was a good chance to “become kids” again and he was confident a turnaround was possible.
“Tomorrow is a day when we should all become kids again, to be as excited and hopeful as they are and lose our common sense a little bit. That might get us through, but it is very difficult,” he said.
“When I hit the pitch and I have Leo, Andres, Xavi, Cesc by my side — top players — I am always confident I am going to win that match.
Tomorrow we will play, and even though it is very complicated, I believe we can do it,” he added.
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