BARCELONA, Spain, March 7 – Outgoing Barcelona boss Luis Enrique claimed his side have the firepower to stick six goals past Paris Saint-Germain as they attempt to make Champions League history by overturning a 4-0 first leg deficit on Wednesday.
“If they can score four goals against us, we can score six,” said Enrique on Tuesday.
“We have nothing to lose and a lot to win.”
The fierce criticism that came Enrique’s way after their humiliation in Paris three weeks ago has eased after he announced last week that he will step down after three seasons as coach at the end of the campaign.
Rather than show any ill-effects from Enrique’s decision, optimism in the Catalan capital of a stunning fightback has soared after thrashing Sporting Gijon and Celta Vigo 6-1 and 5-0 respectively in their last two outings.
“Despite the fact that the result from the first leg is very one-sided, we are only halfway through the tie,” added an uncharacteristically buoyant Enrique.
“In 95 minutes, an infinite amount of things can happen.
“I am convinced that at some point we will be close to qualifying.
“That isn’t to say we will do it, but that we will be close. And, when you are close, our confidence will soar and theirs could start to diminish.”
No team in the history of the Champions League has ever turned around a four-goal deficit.
– Nothing impossible –
However, the statistics back up Enrique’s confidence.
The results from more than a third of his home games as Barca coach would be good enough to at least force the game to extra time.
That record includes all three of Barca’s Champions League games this season as they dismantled Celtic (7-0), Manchester City (4-0) and Borussia Moenchengladbach (4-0) by a combined score of 15-0.
Luis Suarez was also bullish as he claimed if there is one team capable of mounting a historic comeback it is Barcelona.
“We are aware that it is a difficult situation to turn the tie around, but in football nothing is impossible,” said Suarez.
“We have to be convinced that we can do it. If there is a team that can score four goals, I think it is Barcelona but with our philosophy of how to play and controlling the game.”
However, the Uruguayan striker pleaded for patience from an expectant near 100,000 fans at the Camp Nou.
An away goal for PSG would mean Barca would have to score at least six to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals for a 10th straight season.
“We are aware that the game lasts 94 or 95 minutes and we have to be ambitious but also patient.
“We hope that the fans understand and we are the first ones that want to make history, but we have to play with a cool head.”
Barca are at full-strength with captain Andres Iniesta replacing Rafinha or Ivan Rakitic likely to be the Enrique’s only change from the side that thrashed Celta at the weekend.