Paris - Paris St Germain's then sports director Leonardo declared
the club were ready for tougher competitions in Europe two years ago but
Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final exit suggests PSG need more time to
reach the top.
PSG were knocked out 5-1 on aggregate by Barcelona despite
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and talismanic midfielder Marco Verratti returning to the
Ligue 1 side from suspension but coach Laurent Blanc was not really shocked.
"Those who follow FC Barcelona know the patience
required to win the Champions League. You need the means, but also some patience,"
Blanc said after the 2-0 defeat at the Nou Camp, which followed last week's 3-1
humbling at the Parc des Princes.
"The first qualified for the semi-finals are Barca and
Bayern Munich. Paris will certainly be there one day but you have to understand
we need time," he said after PSG's third successive quarter-final exit in
Once again, Sweden striker Ibrahimovic failed to shine in a
big game in which his attacking partner Edinson Cavani, despite his
limitations, seemed more involved.
PSG saw off Chelsea in the previous round but that was more
of a one-tie thing, with Thiago Silva and David Luiz scoring after Ibrahimovic
had been sent off in the second leg.
Luiz was below-par in the last two games, being at fault on
four of the five goals PSG conceded against Barca, but PSG's limitations are
collective, conceded midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
"Barcelona are an institution, a club who have been at
the top level for a long time, like Real Madrid or Bayern Munich," the
France international said.
"We have been around for five years only."
PSG were bought in 2011 by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI),
who invested massively in the club hoping to win Europe's premium club
While they never look threatened in the Group stage, PSG
have been failing against top-notch opposition.
"Let's be realistic, they were better than us. They
will probably win the Champions League," Ibrahimovic admitted.
"As far as we are concerned, it is not possible to
reach that goal on short term. We have made several big steps and we were
eliminated by a superb team.
"Let's not lie to ourselves, it's just reality."
PSG will now focus on winning the Ligue 1 title for the
third consecutive season -- a goal more suited to their capacities -- with a
possible treble on the cards as they won the League Cup and will play the
French Cup final on May 30.
They are second in the standings behind Olympique Lyonnais
on goal difference but have a game in hand.For
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