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Pastore keen to lock horns with Messi

Javier Pastore says he is excited about playing against Argentina team-mate Lionel Messi when Paris Saint-Germain host Barcelona on Tuesday.

PSG will be hoping to emulate AC Milan’s home win against Barca but avoid their subsequent collapse at Camp Nou when the two European giants clash in their Champions League quarter-final.

“He’s the best player in the world,” Pastore responded when asked about Messi by PSG’s official website. “He shows it match after match.

“For us Argentines, he is a reference and an example. I am delighted to be playing against him, it will be a very special moment for me. There will be a little emotion there for me.

“We will have to remain focused for 90 minutes. You have to stay calm when they have the ball. Barcelona are a team that exploit the smallest error from the opposition to score. From that moment, it is very hard to come back.”

PSG are naturally the underdogs against the 2010/11 Champions League winners, but Pastore is confident that a semi-final berth is not beyond the squad.

“At this level of the competition, every team is strong, but anything is possible,” he said. “We need to play two great matches of football.

“If we stay focused we will have reason to hope we’ll go through. It’s the only way of getting through this round.”

The other three quarter-finals are Borussia Dortmund against Malaga, Real Madrid play Galatasaray and Bayern Munich clash with Juventus.

Sun 31 March, 2013
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