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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Roma's Seydou Keita says beating Real Madrid 'difficult, not impossible'

Seydou Keita says Roma have the capability to defeat Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita isn't backing down from Roma's Champions League test, describing beating Real Madrid as "difficult, but not impossible."

Roma begin the knockout stage at home against Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old gained plenty of experience playing against Real while featuring for Barcelona from 2008-2012, and he said he believes the Giallorossi can progress.

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"When I was at Barcelona it was an important match, like the derby with Lazio," Keita told Roma Radio. "We have confidence in our own ability, and the preparation the coach [Luciano Spalletti] will give us for the match.

"He'll study the best way to win a game that is difficult, but not impossible."

Spalletti will take charge of Roma in the Champions League for the first time after Rudi Garcia was sacked in January.

Keita said the switch has reinvigorated Roma ahead of their toughest challenge of the season.

"The change of coach has changed the mentality," he said. "When there's a change it must be because things are bad, and so things have to change.

"The mental aspect and the trust has changed, and things are going well at the moment with four straight wins.

"The team is improving bit-by-bit, but we're on the right path.

"This is a positive period for the club, the team and the fans. When a team is winning, that's the most important thing in football."

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