Barcelona-PSG Has ‘Become a Rivalry’ As UCL Clash Looms, Expert Says

FC Barcelona have faced off quite frequently in the last few years in the UEFA Champions League, not to mention the off-the-pitch clashes in the transfer window. The question is, despite playing in two different countries and leagues, are these two clubs rivals? 

If a matchup wants to be considered a rivalry, then they have to face frequently in high-stakes games, and there be animosity off the pitch, which Barcelona and PSG have over the years. 

As a result, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Johnson believes that Barcelona-PSF is a rivalry in his eyes as the first leg kicks off next week at the Parc des Princes.

“I mean, it’s a really good question. Do I consider it a rivalry? Yes, I think it has become a rivalry over the years, certainly since PSG has come into Qatari ownership,” Johnson told PSG Talk. “I think it’s something that, you know, has really fostered, especially over the first couple of years of Qatari ownership, because PSG came up against Barcelona a couple of times in quick succession. Similar thing happened with Chelsea as well, but obviously, the rivalry didn’t develop to quite the same levels.

“And obviously, when you have an event as traumatic as remontada, I think that that basically guarantees a level of animosity that’s never really going to die down. Then you had a separate battle as well off the pitch with PSG looking to take some of Barcelona’s best talents. So it’s something that has certainly developed into a bit of a modern continental rivalry, I think you could say.”

Ahead of the first encounter in the French capital, İlkay Gündoğan recently spoke about how he sees the team heading into a pressure situation. Furthermore, he notes what the team needs to do defensively against the Ligue 1 side to ensure that they advance to the semifinals. 

“I believe that before the break, we were doing well, and I think the last game wasn’t up to the level of the ones we played before the break,” Gündoğan told SPORT. “We could have played better, but it’s also important to have won. If we can play like we did, for example, against Napoli at home or even there, we’ll have a chance in the Champions League. 

“I believe that, yes. But, of course, PSG has a great team and great players. We’ll need to especially control the wingers and defend very well to contain them, but we’ll have to do it as a team. If we do, we’ll have a chance.”

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