The Champions League draw was made this lunchtime with Barça being paired with French big money spenders Paris Saint Germain. The first leg will be played at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday 2 April with the return at Camp Nou on Wednesday 10 April. The tie will mean the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta and Maxwell Andrade to Camp Nou though the big Swede has to serve the second of a two-match suspension and will miss the first game in Paris.
Considering the other possible rivals this should be seen as a good draw though it will not be easy. Money has poured into the French club since being bought by the Qatar Investment Authority with big name signings such as Ibrahimovic, the Brazilians Thiago Silva and the impressive Lucas Moura, and the Argentinians Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi. Carlos Ancelotti’s men qualified for the last 16 by winning Group A taking 15 points to finish above Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb. They then faced Valencia in the last 16, impressing in a 1-2 win at Mestalla but without Ibrahimovic for the second leg they went through after a nervous 1-1 draw.
The clubs have only crossed paths twice before in European competition. In the Champions League quarter-final stages back in 1995 PSG had a fine team including George Weah and David Ginola and the Parisiens went through 3-2 on aggregate. Barça gained revenge two years later in the Cup Winners Cup Final two years later in Rotterdam when a Ronaldo penalty was enough to beat the French side 1-0. The teams met more recently in a preseason friendly last August with Rafinha and Messi scoring for Barça before Ibrahimovic and Camara levelled the scores for Les Rouge-et-Bleu. With a 2-2 final score the game was settled by penalties with Pinto saving two as Barça won 4-1.
The full quarter-final draw is as follows:
Malaga – Dortmund (Wednesday 3 and Tuesday 9 April)
Real Madrid – Galatasaray (Wednesday 3 and Tuesday 9 April)
Paris SG – Barça (Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 10 April)
Bayern Munich – Juventus (Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 10 April).