Blanc sure of progress in Europe

DOHA • Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc believes his side are ready to reach at least the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in more than 20 years.

Speaking ahead of PSG's friendly clash in Qatar yesterday against Italy's Inter Milan, Blanc said that it is right the pressure is on PSG to perform in European football's biggest club competition.

"A season is judged on every trophy there is to win," he said.

"In France last year we had a perfect season but quite rightly the expectation for a club of our size is to have a big performance in the Champions League.

"To be good in the Champions League, you have to be good in the league. It's easy to say we need to qualify for the semi-finals, but harder to achieve.

"I believe my players are ready to reach that goal this year."

The French champions have qualified for the last 16 of the tournament, where they will play English champions Chelsea for the third successive season.

Chelsea triumphed in 2014 but PSG gained revenge in last season's competition, before being knocked out by eventual winners Barcelona.

PSG last reached the semi-finals in 1994-95, inspired by the tournament's top scorer that season, George Weah. They were eventually beaten by AC Milan.

The Paris side reached the last eight of the tournament in the preceding three seasons.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Blanc sure of progress in Europe'. Print Edition | Subscribe