Defeat made Dani Alves believe PSG can knock Real out

Ian Watson

Paris St Germain’s Dani Alves wants to “send a message to Europe” by ending Real Madrid’s Champions League defence.

The former Barcelona full-back is used to high-profile clashes with Los Blancos and is relishing the challenge of turning around a 3-1 first-leg deficit.

Adrien Rabiot’s opener in Madrid was not enough to put PSG on top in the tie, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s double and a Marcelo strike giving Real the advantage, but the away goal gives them hope with a 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes sufficient to progress.

Alves told “It’s a challenge for us, an opportunity to change the course of our history and eliminate the holders of the title.

“We could have had a better result in the first leg. We were superior in the game and had the better chances. It made us think we can knock them out.

“There is no greater motivation. We are going to try to knock out a strong opponent and send a message to Europe.

“We have to start the match with this mentality. We have to believe and we have to do it.”

Coach Unai Emery echoed his player’s thoughts, claiming: “I want to see the best Real because I think we can beat them.

“It is a unique moment, a big chance to take a step forward in front of our supporters.”

Kylian Mbappe and Marquinhos returned to training on Sunday and Javier Pastore followed suit on Monday, meaning Neymar is PSG’s only absentee.

Angel Di Maria will continue to deputise for the Brazilian and has the chance to add to his resurgence in form since the new year – in that time, he has 13 goals and nine assists to his name in 16 appearances for PSG.