Unai Emery spoke to the press ahead of his PSG side hosting Barcelona in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.
You’ve played Barça many times. How do you stop the MSN?
I work on the basis of moments and this is one. I want to write new moments at PSG. What I can say is that we don’t feel inferior to anybody. The team is motivated to show the best version of itself.
Messi has scored 25 goals in 21 games against your teams. You said a few months ago that you would consider putting a wall on the goal line for his free-kicks. Will that happen?
Talking about concrete moments, there are no two games that are the same. Players who have done exceptional things in the past are also in different moments. It’s up to us prevent those situations. We have to do things coherently. We’re not going to make drastic changes in that respect.
Your statistics against Barcelona aren’t positive. Are you a better coach now than five years ago?
I’ve never thought that. What I have managed to do is to enjoy every moment and what I do feel is that every opportunity is there to be taken. I want to grow and PSG want to grow. We have to overcome whatever is put in our path. And Tuesday’s game is an obstacle and a challenge.
You haven’t played well against strong opposition this year. Can you turn that around?
Yes. We have to work hard. I have faith in the players. That’s the progress we have to show, that we can improve.
Is it also an opportunity for you at a personal level?
It’s a good opportunity to show what I do. But it is also an important moment for the club. It’s a special moment that we can take advantage of.
What have PSG learned over the years to go further in the Champions League this year?
Every game, every tie, every minute you experience, is a lesson. You learn from the positives and the negatives. It’s a unique moment to take that extra step. That’s our challenge.