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.

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living