Both the Parisians and the Valencia players are impatient for this last-16 Champions League clash to get underway. The first to speak to the media on Monday afternoon was Ernesto Valderde, coach of the Spanish outfit, who couldn't hide his desire to succeed: "We are really motivated to do well. The whole world will be watching. Paris Saint-Germain are like Real Madrid, a team that play on the counterattack, with speed and power up front and very attacking full-backs."
VCF midfielder Tino Costa echoed his coach's words: "Paris are one of Europe's biggest clubs. They are a team that warrant respect, and not only because of Ibrahimovic. We have to stop the whole team," he explained. PSG's Argentine forward 'Pocho' Lavezzi returned the pleasantries: "Valencia are a very good side that play very good football and have a lot of experience in these big European matches."
Carlo Ancelotti looked ahead to Tuesday's match ups: "I don't think it will be a physical match. I'm expecting a very tactical game, open and entertaining. Paris Saint-Germain's aim is to play good football and not only hit on the counterattack. However, these Champions League matches are often very particular. We need to show character and plenty of personality to play and win these types of matches."
Tino Costa doesn't feel respect lessens one's motivation: "We mustn't let anything slip in our approach or our attitude. We know our strengths. We have grown in confidence and belief in recent weeks. We have everything to play for," he added before his coach labelled PSG the favourites over two legs: "Obviously they are, they finished top of their group!"
Yet as Carlo Ancelotti explained, Paris will be without several key players: "The absences of Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta are a handicap, but those that have replaced them so far have done so perfectly. That is also why Paris Saint-Germain are a big club." One of the important players is Lavezzi and he warned his teammates that "mistakes will not be tolerated! This match is important for the club and we need to maintain every chance for the return leg in Paris. Valencia will try and make the difference from the outset and we have to stand up to the challenge." The message was sent and Valderde wasn't about to disagree: "The atmosphere in the Mestalla will be at boiling point!"