PSG ready to embrace Champions League 'magic' against Ronaldo and Real Madrid

Goal.com

Paris Saint-Germain are ready to embrace the “magic” of a Champions League last-16 showdown with holders Real Madrid.

The French giants have been handed a testing draw in the first knockout stage of the 2017-18 competition despite topping their group.

Real’s failure to edge out Spurs meant that they were always going to set up a heavyweight encounter for a fellow European giant.

PSG must now ready themselves for that test but, with big money invested in the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the Ligue 1 leaders are relishing the opportunity to pit their wits against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co over a two-legged tie.

Club chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi told reporters: “We have big respect for Real Madrid.

“It will be two great matches. The fans will have magic football moments away and at the Parc des Princes.

“As I always say, we need to be ready to play all the teams and we will be ready.”

Since the arrival of their Qatari owners, PSG have been unable to make it past the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.

They have, however, continued to strengthen and believe that they now boast a squad which is capable of competing with the likes of Real for major European honours.

PSG Lille
PSG Lille

An opportunity to prove just how competitive they are has now presented itself, with those in the French capital excited by what lies ahead, rather than wary.

Assistant sporting director Maxwell added on the Madrid draw: “These are two great games to play. We are aware of the importance of these two upcoming fixtures.

“It will be two great games, for us, for the fans with a second leg game to play at home. It is a very nice challenge for the club.

“There is a history between Real and us, a nice history.

“Players are aware of the expectations and will do everything they can to qualify and show our value in this competition.

“There will be two great teams, with some of the best players of the world on the pitch.”

PSG have only met Real on two previous occasions, in the group stage of the 2015-16 Champions League.

The two sides played out a goalless draw in France, before a solitary effort from Nacho settled the return date at Santiago Bernabeu.

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