Barcelona 6-1 PSG: How the world reacted


Grown men were crying, while for others it was a nightmare.

Barcelona made Champions League history by recovering from a 4-0 last-16 deficit to beat Paris St-Germain in the second leg on Wednesday.

How did the players, managers and the world react to one of the greatest nights in European football?

‘I don’t think anyone stopped believing’

Barca’s stunning comeback against the French side – the biggest second-leg turnaround in Champions League history – was “crazy and unbelievable”, according to midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

barca fans

“It was really impossible,” added the Croatian. And manager Enrique said: “I was brought to my knees.”

Looking to overturn a four-goal deficit, Barca hit back through Luis Suarez’s header, Layvin Kurzawa’s own goal and Lionel Messi’s penalty to go 3-0 up.

Their hopes looked to have faded when Edinson Cavani smashed in just after the hour mark, but Neymar had other ideas with a stunning free-kick on 88 minutes, before stroking in a penalty three minutes later.

With time running out, the Brazilian chipped the ball into the box for Sergi Roberto to stab home the winning goal and send the Nou Camp into raptures.

Enrique added: “I don’t think anyone stopped believing. After seeing them sit back despite the goal, the team were incredible.

“We risked everything and it paid off. You get finales like this very occasionally in football and this time it was our turn.

“A feat like this does everyone good and I’m delighted to enjoy a moment like this. The key was our efficiency. The sixth goal was scored with the hope of the fan who was on the other side of the world.”

‘Grown men were crying’

Lionel Messi celebrated wildly after the winning goal was scored

barca psg

Mayhem, utter mayhem.

When Sergi Roberto sent that 95th-minute volley into the Paris St-Germain net, completing the greatest comeback in the history of European football, Camp Nou exploded in a release of raw, ecstatic emotion.

All around me, people were hugging, jumping, screaming. Grown men were crying and strangers were leaping into each other’s arms.

Unlike so much of modern sport, there was nothing contrived or orchestrated about those celebrations, about that moment.

This was deep, instinctive passion at its most authentic and unrefined. Just pure, wordless, thoughtless exhilaration. And it is surely for moments like this, which come along once every few years if you’re lucky, that sport is so compelling.

From a personal point of view, being there was a privilege. Two decades of attending sporting events in a professional capacity have hardened me to the extent that I thought nothing can move me.

I was wrong.

When that sixth goal went in, any sense of objective detachment completely disappeared, and I was standing open-mouthed, trying to take in what had happened and reminding myself to savour the moment. Something incredible had just happened and I was lucky enough to witness it in person.

Like anyone else who was there, I know that I will talk about the night for years to come, and gradually we will find some words to adequately capture our recollections of how it felt.

But realistically, there are simply no words to capture the full range of the emotions of that moment. I have never seen anything like it, and I probably never will again.

‘A nightmare for everyone’

“I threw myself at it with everything. We were prepared for all this. The fans were like 10 extra players and in the end this is all for them.” Barcelona match winner Sergi Roberto.

“It’s the best match I have ever played in my life.” Barcelona forward Neymar.

“I left some ligaments on the pitch but it was worth it.” Barcelona boss Luis Enrique.

“This is a historic achievement that will be remembered forever.” Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

“It’s a nightmare for everyone. Three goals in seven minutes is very difficult.” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.