Barcelona v PSG: Carlo Ancelotti keeps faith in David Beckham for Champions League test

The tie is level at 2-2 after the first leg

Barcelona

The last surviving Englishman in the Champions League was given a vote of confidence by his coach as Carlo Ancelotti suggested David Beckham will start in the quarter-final second leg against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Leo Messi’s inclusion also looks likely after his recent hamstring injury scare, although Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta reminded Paris Saint-Germain that the team who have won the competition twice in the last four years are quite capable of reaching the Champions League semi-finals without their leading scorer.

Ancelotti said criticism of Beckham’s performance in the first leg, which ended 2-2, was misplaced and would have no bearing on his decision today. “Some people criticised him, some people were happy with him; I was happy so if the manager was happy then Beckham should be happy,” he said. “He has a chance to play. I thought he played well in the first leg.”

The former Chelsea manager also said that he did not feel Beckham’s Real Madrid past would see him given a hostile reception in the Nou Camp. “He has a very good image. He does not have a problem to play here. He has played as an international. Everyone respects him.”

Messi joined his team-mates for training, but Iniesta denied Barcelona are over-dependent on the player who has scored 43 of their 95 goals in the league this season.

“We know he is the No 1 when he plays but we just want to reach the end of the season having won as many trophies as possible regardless who has scored the goals,” Iniesta said. “We all have to be leaders in our own position. We are ready and prepared to win the game with or without Leo. He is a unique player for us, but from this squad someone always steps forward when it’s necessary. We want to get to the final. We came close last year and to just fall short is what drives us on this time.”

Cesc Fabregas will play in place of Messi if the Argentine starts on the bench, and he does so having just scored his first career hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Mallorca. “We are lucky that Cesc is comfortable with whatever role he has,” said Iniesta. “He has played in another country and become a very complete player.”

Fabregas is trying to reach his first Champions League final since Paris 2006 when he was on the losing side for Arsenal against Barcelona. For Beckham the match provides him with the opportunity to reach his first Champions League semi-final since his Manchester United days.

Barcelona’s assistant coach Jordi Roura also believes Beckham will play tonight. “I don’t think [the PSG team] will be too different from the first game,” he said.

Iniesta added: “We know how quick they are. We know they run well with the ball at pace. We saw it in the first leg. Technically they are very good and we have to bear that in mind but we concentrate on what we are going to do. If we are at our best then the opposition suffers more than we do.”

Juventus face uphill task

Juventus need to overturn a 2-0 deficit to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals when they face newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in Turin.

Juve are missing midfielder Arturo Vidal and defender Stephan Lichtsteiner through suspension and striker Sebastian Giovinco is injured.

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'