The draws for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League have been done, and now, teams know their fate.
Finishing second in our group meant that we could face either of PSG, Barcelona, and Besiktas, and we have been handed a familiar foe in Barcelona. It does seem a tough one, but I’m very convinced it’s the best we could have gotten, knowing that we have to beat the big teams if we must win the Champions League.
Barcelona may be leaders of the Spanish league, but they haven’t been the same fierce side they once were. And even then, we got the best of them a lot of times. If there’s any team that gives Barcelona the most trouble in Europe, it has to be Chelsea.
PSG on the other hand, is another familiar foe, and as much as I believe we can win them like we’ve done before, I think they might have posed a bigger challenge than Barcelona and Besiktas. The latter is a ‘not-so- big”, but they probably might have been a problem too like any other team trying to impress.
In Barcelona, we have a team we know very well, and can beat. Of course, it’s not automatic; we’ll have to work out a win, but I know the team has it within them to progress eventually.
So while some of us are still crying over the draws, I choose to be positive and see the bigger picture. Barcelona have lost a crop of their players that made it the dreaded team it once was. Now, it’s nothing but any other team trying to maintain its status. Their confidence isn’t as high as the Pep era and we can exploit that to our advantage. And I have a feeling that if that happens, 2012 May come to life all over again.