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Feb 11, 2013

Valverde: We are competing to win

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde says his team will not be happy just to put in a good performance against big-spending Paris Saint Germain in Tuesday's Champions League last 16 first leg at the Mestalla.

• Blog: PSG prepare to battle history
• Blog: Big money PSG not fazing Valencia

"Even though they are favourites, we want to get through to the quarter-finals," Valverde said. "We are not just happy to compete and give a good image of ourselves, and then see what happens. We are not here to play well but be beaten. We are competing to win."

Valencia are coming into the game in decent form, having followed a creditable 1-1 draw with Barcelona with an impressive 1-0 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

"It is always a good moment to play this kind of game, independently of how you are feeling," Valverde said. "We are on a good run, our morale is good, but these kind of games are opportunities for us. PSG are a big team, with great players, and this is a competition in which everyone goes with their all."

All of Valencia's defenders will need to keep an eye on PSG's centre-forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, not just his likely marker Adil Rami, according to El Txingurri (Basque for ant).

"He is a great player and not just Rami, but all the defence must be aware of him, because he can do unbelievable things," he said. "Not just for his size, but for the play he creates around him. Although he is a goalscorer, when things are not going his team's way, he comes back and organises things."

Los Che's coach suggested the ties with PSG would have more in common with his side's recent Copa del Rey clashes with Madrid [where Jose Mourinho's side advanced 3-1 on aggregate] than the Primera Division game against Barcelona.

"PSG are more like Madrid than Barcelona," he said. "It is a team with great players in attack, who do not mind defending and who attack with commitment. Just having possession does not mean you are dominating, they are a really dangerous team. They are making a big investment to become one of Europe's great teams. Ancelotti is Italian and his team are careful and hardworking, with brilliance from the players in attack."

Asked about David Beckham, who has yet to join up with his new teammates, Valverde said he was currently more worried about PSG's other attacking stars.

"He is a great player, I do not know what role he will have in the coming months at PSG, but for the return game he could be there," he added. "But regardless of whether he plays or not, they have enough stars, above all in attack, to win this tie."

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