'We can beat Barcelona at Camp Nou'

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 09, 2013 08:52 hrs
David Beckham

Former England captain David Beckham is relishing playing on the Uefa Champions League stage once again after a three-year gap having previously played in the glamorous competition with European powerhouses such as Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan. And despite the odds seemingly stacked against his Paris St. Germain side in Wednesday night’s quarter-final second leg clash with FC Barcelona following the 2-2 draw from the first leg, the veteran midfielder believes his team are capable of producing a shock at the Camp Nou.  
Q David, you are heading back to Spain with Paris St Germain for a Champions League tie against Barcelona; it's 2-2 from the first leg, can you go through?

A "We believe we can. But we know it's not going to be easy. It's always tough when you go to Barcelona. Obviously I've been there a few times when I was at Real Madrid, so I know. It's always a tough game and they are a great team. But we will give it our all."

Q How do you look back on the first leg? Were you happy to come out of it with a draw with an equaliser in the last minute?

A "Well, certainly happier than when it was 2-1! Overall I thought we did well. In the first half, especially in the first 10 minutes, we had a few very good chances and if we'd have put one of those away it might have been different.
"Then obviously they got their goal, then it was an uphill battle, but I think we deserved the draw."

Q So what are your realistic hopes of reaching the semi-final?

"That's up to us. We go there to Barcelona now; it's going to be difficult but there's no reason we can't go there and get a result." 

Q Lionel Messi went off injured in the first leg with a hamstring problem - there's a chance he won't be fit to face you in the Nou Camp. Is that a big boost?

A "I don't look at it that way - you want to play against the great players. I hope he's not too badly injured. We all hope he's fit and ready for any game coming up. I certainly wish him well and hope he gets better."

Q These are the kind of games that must have made you decide to come back to Europe after leaving LA Galaxy. Was it a big thrill to start against Barca in Paris?

A "I was obviously very happy. The manager Carlo Ancelotti has always shown a lot of confidence in me, especially in big moments, so that's great.
"Everyone knows I love the Champions League and I feel good. I feel pretty much the same as when I was at Milan and I last played in it;  after all it was only three years ago. I'm enjoying being part of these nights again because they're very special."

Q Are you enjoying it enough to sign an extended contract at PSG? So far you are only on a short deal until the end of the season but there has been lots of speculation that the club wants you for longer?

A "Let's wait and see. Let's enjoy the rest of the season and see what happens."

Q But do you feel you can still play to the same high level that made you so famous and so successful at Man United and Real Madrid?

A "I think so - I feel good. I might not be able to run as much as I used to when I was 21, but I'll try! I can still get around the pitch and still play the balls I play. My passion hasn't changed, my energy hasn't changed, the way I want to win a game hasn't changed, so it's pretty much the same."

Q Some people were surprised that you signed such a short deal and wondered if maybe if you had something else lined up later. Are you really committed to PSG?

A "Definitely. I know that I only have a six-month contract but I really want to contribute to PSG becoming a big club. At my age, I cannot have a contract for two or three years, I take each year as it comes. But if I still feel as fit, I will continue to play."

Q So no thoughts of retirement at the moment? You still have the motivation to carry on?

A "I feel great, physically and I've always said, as long as I can continue to play the game at the highest level then I will continue to play. I'm still motivated for sure. Motivation never changes. I think once you have that motivation in you, it continues throughout your whole life. And don't forget I have four children at home, three boys and a little girl, so my energy comes from them!"

Q What about your England career? Everyone has assumed your international career is over and the chance to become England's all-time record caps holder has gone. But if you are playing in the Champions League and in France every week could you make a comeback?

A "Well, I haven't retired! And one of the reasons why I've never retired from the England team is because if there's ever an opportunity to play for them again, then I'm available.
"If there is any chance of me ever playing for my country again, I would never turn that down. I'm almost 38 years old so the chances are very slight, but you never know."

Q Does playing in France give you any kind of disadvantage over, say, playing in Spain or England?

A "I don't think so. The French league is very good, I've said that before when I've played against French teams with Real Madrid or Manchester United."

Q Is it fair to say that at the age of nearly 38 it's not really possible for you to be playing 90 minutes every game?

A "There are great players at this club and I'm just ready to play whenever needed. Of course I want to start games but that's up to the manager. I just look at players like Giggssy and Scholesy, playing at Manchester United, still at the highest level - they don't play every game but when they do play they are big influences in the game, so I'm looking to do that. I'm looking to continue to be successful. Hopefully we can do that."

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