Youthful Barcelona can compete with Europe’s best – Koeman

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Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says his resurgent team can still compete with the strongest in Europe as they prepare to take on Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Uefa Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday.

The Spanish giants remain a club in crisis off the field but on the playing field, they have turned things around since they ended their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 3-0 home loss to Juventus in December.

Saturday’s 5-1 win over Alaves made it 10 wins and two draws in their last 12 La Liga outings.

“I don’t see other teams who are much better than Barcelona, but I think it’s not good if you are changing a lot of things in the team, if you are playing with young players, to expect that we will win the Champions League,” Koeman told the media ahead of Tuesday’s game at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi has scored 11 goals in 10 appearances in that time, while Koeman continues to incorporate young players into his line-up.

“We still have a good team. The team is doing better, the team is playing good, on a high level, physically the team is on a high level and we still have fantastic players,” added Koeman.

“That means we can beat everyone. That’s what we like to show, that we can compete with the best teams in Europe.”

PSG will be without the injured Neymar and Angel di Maria.

But Koeman warned: “You never know how a team will react to being without such an important player like Neymar. I hope that in a couple of weeks (the return leg is on March 10) everyone will be there and we can see who is the best team.”

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By FARPost Reporter 

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