DAVID Luiz has insisted that Paris Saint-Germain are not afraid of Real Madrid or anyone else who they might be drawn against in the last 16 of the Champions League.
A 3-1 defeat to Barcelona on Wednesday ensured that Laurent Blanc’s men finished second in Group F, meaning they are not seeded for the next stage of the competition.
As a result, their potential opponents in the last 16 are holders Real Madrid, last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, Premier League table-toppers Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Porto.
David Luiz does not fear being drawn against one of the European heavyweights and insists that PSG must be prepared to go toe-to-toe with the best if they want to win their first-ever Champions League title in 2014-15.
“We could play against Real Madrid or we could play against another team – either way, all that qualified are great teams with great squads of players and we are prepared to face them all,” the centre-back, 27, told Goal after the clash at Camp Nou.
“We don’t think about avoiding the best, but to be prepared to do our job against anyone if we want to be champions of Europe.
“Paris Saint-Germain are candidates to win the Champions League. We just have to think like always: that we are a great club and to have the philosophy of win every game and prepare properly.”
PSG were outmatched on Wednesday by Barca’s unorthodox 3-2-3-2 formation but David Luiz denies the Ligue 1 champions were caught off guard, claiming instead that the quality of Lionel Messi and his attacking team-mates was always going to be key.
“We were not taken by surprise,” the Brazilian defender added. “Barca are known for their philosophy of always playing with a focus on ball possession. However, they did put a man more in midfield for their passing game.