Barcelona set out tonight to overturn a two goal deficit and beat AC Milan in their second leg encounter at the Nou Camp. Barcelona have been in a poor vein of form in recent weeks and despite Messi’s magic at the weekend against Deportivo, it remains an uphill struggle to stay in Europe.
Although, you wouldn’t believe that it is a make or break night when you listen to the Barcelona players, especially defender Gerard Pique. He cut out the gloom that has been haunting Barcelona and declared his conviction that the team would achieve a historic comeback and triumph for the supporters, for the city and for an absent friend, manager Tito Vilanova, who is seriously ill with a tumour, and has been receiving treatment in New York, leaving Jordi Roura in charge.
“Any fan who doesn’t think we can turn it around should give his ticket to someone who does,” Pique said.
It may have been a disastrous month for the Catalan giants with the defeat to Milan and a loss to bitter rivals Real Madrid, but Pique not short on confidence going into tonight’s game rallied the fans to support their players.
“I ask the supporters to look at the last 10 or 15 seasons. We went through 90 years not winning anything important until Johan Cruyff came along but in the last 10, 15 years we’ve changed the history of this club. So we must trust this team. We deserve all the credit.
“People have a short memory and need to know that this team can win and can do a lot, lot more.”
Pique continued his rallying cry to the fans, perhaps to inject some life into the players too, as in a poll in a local newspaper, half of those polled felt Barcelona would be knocked out.
“The fans always back us if they see we’re fighting and I want 90,000 believing in us, believing we can qualify for the quarter-finals.” He is adamant they will.
“We’ll win 3-0 for Tito!”
It would be an astonishing comeback, but if anyone can do it, it would have to be Lionel Messi and Barcelona.