Manager Luis Enrique wants struggling Barcelona to show they are still peerless when they face Atletico Madrid in quarter-final return tie today
Madrid: Barcelona head to Atletico Madrid for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final aiming to show their campaign is still on track for domestic and European success.
Barca boss Luis Enrique urged his side to show they are still the best team in the world in the final two months of the season. "It is a marvellous opportunity to show we are the best team in the world and that is why we carry that badge on our chest."
Barca face a huge challenge to maintain their hopes of becoming the first side to retain the Champions League. The Catalans have a 2-1 lead handed to them by Luis Suarez's double after Atletico had been reduced to 10 men by Fernando Torres's red card in the first leg.
"Pessimistic thoughts and opinions that I'm sure will accompany us in the coming days don't benefit the team at all," Enrique continued.
Barcelona players during a training session yesterday in Madrid on the eve of their Champions League quarter-final second-leg encounter against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon. Barcelona lead the tie 2-1 after their win in the first-leg at Camp Nou. Pic/AFP
"We are not machines, we are human. On Wednesday (today), we have the chance to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League."
Meanwhile, Barca defender Gerard Pique called for a big reaction from his teammates against Atletico.
"The important game is on Wednesday. That is when we have the most important competition at stake. No team can do everything perfectly all season. We know what we have to improve on."
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic believes his team-mates can rise to the challenge once again. "We are all united like a big family. We have to stick with this mentality for the next match."