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Apr 11, 2013

Ibra: Barca draw shows we're no joke

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said Paris Saint-Germain's exit to Barcelona on away goals after a thrilling Champions league quarter-final "shows this team is not a joke".

• Blog: PSG earn Europe's respect
• Johnson: PSG taught harsh lesson
• Delaney: Messi inspires Barcelona
• Press Pass: Barca's edge gone?

The big-spending Ligue 1 club held defending champions Barca to a 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Parc des Princes and took the lead at the Camp Nou before Pedro dashed their hopes by sealing a 1-1 draw 19 minutes from time.

However, Carlo Ancelotti's side missed chances - particularly in the first half - to secure a famous win and a second-ever semi-final appearance in the competition.

Ibrahimovic, 31, told the press that the team's performance had given the club credibility as a European force, saying: "We've proved that this team is not a joke and that we hope to win trophies soon.

"We played fantastically well. We can be proud of ourselves. The team showed that we can match the best team in the world. We don't deserve to go out - we played two great games."

He said "a lot of people" had predicted that PSG would lose the tie heavily but the players had surprised them, adding: "I hope we'll come back stronger. After tonight's match, we've earned respect in Europe."

PSG goalscorer Javier Pastore told Le Parisien: "We've played Barca over two games and not lost.

"But, at the same time, I'm not getting carried away as this was our first shot at the Champions League in a long time and I'm certain next season will be better.

"Everything that's happened this season has been positive. We're growing, and this game has helped us improve still further."

PSG's focus now switches to clinching domestic success in Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, in which they are through to the quarter-finals.

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