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Ahead of their exciting round of 16 clash with PSG, we look back at the La Liga club’s UEFA Champions League journey so far

Passion for football

The UEFA Champions League has reached the business end of the competition. It’s knockout football. There is no margin for error, there can be no more slip-ups. Ahead of the round of 16, we take a closer look at how Barcelona made it through the group stage and assess their chances of marching into the quarter-finals.

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Lionel Messi of Barcelona (C) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Neymar of Barcelona (R) and his Barcelona team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Celtic FC and FC Barcelona at Celtic Park Stadium on November 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Barca cruised through the group stage, their only blip arriving in Manchester as they threw away a lead to go down 3-1 to former coach Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. They kicked off the campaign with a 7-0 demolition of Celtic at Camp Nou and went on to win five of their six games, hitting 20 goals along the way.

MOST EXCITING MOMENT

Pep came home hoping to take a major step forward with his Manchester City revolution, but the Premier League club were blown out of the water at Camp Nou, as Lionel Messi ran riot with a stunning hat-trick that gave Barca a convincing 4-0 victory. With 11 goals in their opening two matches of the group stage, Barca proved themselves the team to beat.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 01: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City (R) is chased down by Lucas Digne of Barcelona (C) and Javier Mascherano of Barcelona (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Man City were the biggest obstacle standing between them and the knockout stage. The 3-1 defeat in Manchester left coach Luis Enrique with lots to ponder. The ease with which Barca ultimately qualified means their greatest challenge is yet to come. Last season, they went out with a whimper at the quarter-final stage, shrugged aside by Atletico Madrid. This year, Barca must prove they are once again among the world’s elite.

STAR PLAYER

Lionel Messi struck a staggering 10 goals in the group stage, leaving himself with a four-goal cushion as the tournament’s leading scorer going into the round of 16. Barca’s talisman, the Argentina international has now hit 93 UCL career goals (two less than leading-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo) and with his MSN colleagues Neymar and Suarez having provided 10 assists between them, few would bet against Messi adding many more in the knockout stage.

CHANCES OF PROGRESSION

PARIS, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 14: L-R) Sergio Busquets, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez of Barcelona react after conceding a goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona at Parc des Princes on February 14, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Barca meet PSG in the knockout stage for the third time in five seasons, and face a stiff challenge despite the French club’s relative loss of form under new coach Unai Emery. The Blaugrana have a fine record against French opponents, winning 12 and drawing four 21 matches, and were considered favourites, but a devastating 4-0 defeat in last month’s first leg in Paris looks to have ended Barca’s campaign.

Check out more UEFA Champions League Nissan content on Goal.com

All credits go to the original writer of this post and photographer.

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