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PSG to face Barcelona and Messi in last eight

Paris Saint-Germain were drawn to play against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday, while Monaco will face Juventus. Do PSG stand a chance against Messi, Neymar and Suarez?

PSG to face Barcelona and Messi in last eight
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the first leg against his old club Barcelona. Photo: AFP

Spanish giants Barcelona stand in the way of PSG after the two clubs were drawn to play each other in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

PSG will have hope after beating Barcelona 3-1 in the group stages of this year's competition, but with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, the Spanish club will be clear favourites to qualify for the semis.

Laurent Blanc's PSG side will also have to do without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the first leg of the tie which will be played at the Camp Nou.

PSG Will however be hoping to take revenge against the Catalan club who knocked them out at the same stage in 2013.  After drawing 2-2 at the Parc des Princes in Paris, the teams were tied 1-1 at the Camp Nou, meaning the French club were eliminated on away goals.

Elsewhere in the draw Monaco were paired with Juventus, and the clash of the round is a repeat of last year's final Real Madrid versus city rivals Atletico.

German giants Bayern Munich will play against Porto in the final pairing.

The first leg of the quarter finals will be played on April 14/15 with the return matches on April 21/22.

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FOOTBALL

Liverpool fan to Madrid taxi driver: ‘You’ve restored my faith in humanity’

A Liverpool fan who lost his phone in the back of a cab after spending the weekend in Madrid for the Champions League Final didn’t hold out much hope for its return.

Liverpool fan to Madrid taxi driver: ‘You’ve restored my faith in humanity’
Paul Hands with his fiancée Charlotte in Madrid for the Champions League final. Photo: P Hands

Message boards and whatsapp groups were full of anecdotes about fans having their phones  snatched and wallets nicked by pickpockets taking advantage of the crowds that flocked to the city for the final earlier this month.

So Paul Hands, 44 a recently retired officer from the British Army, felt he only had himself to blame when he leapt out of a taxi at the airport leaving his phone and bank cards behind on the seat.

“When we got to the airport we had to quickly pay and jump out and it was then that I dropped my phone (the phone has a wallet holder so my bank cards were also in it),” he explained to The Local by telephone  from his home in Liverpool.

 “I didn’t realise I’d dropped it until we was through security and we didn’t have a clue what the taxi company was as we just flagged him down on the street,” he said.

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It wasn’t the loss of the phone, or the bank cards that most upset him, but rather the loss of all the photographs Paul and his fiancée, Charlotte, had taken during their stay in Madrid.

“We were both gutted as the phone had all our photographs from recent trips and all our info about our wedding – we get married in Liverpool in 2 Months time – I honestly thought we’d lost all the photos and phone as we hadn’t had a chance to back the photos up,” he said.

But just on the off chance, after a long journey home, flying via Porto, he logged onto the “find my phone app” on ipad and sent a message asking that whoever had his phone please get in contact..

To his immense surprise, he received a message back from the taxi driver, whose name was Juan,, and through using a translation app, the pair were able to communicate.

“The taxi driver sent us a message saying he was so glad we’d sent a message to the phone as he was worried how he could get it back to us.

 “We thanked him (we were using the English/Spanish translator as he didn’t speak English and we don’t speak Spanish!). The phone arrived at my home address some 5 days later. All in perfect condition and we were able to recover our photos.”


Paul and Charlotte recovered all the photos of their memorable trip. Photo credit: P Hands.

What’s more, the driver refused to accept a money transfer to pay for the postal costs, despite repeated attempts to reimburse him – instead, Paul and Charlotte plan to send him a gift.

“The actions of this taxi driver made the whole trip amazing. As well as our team winning the European Cup we got to meet this man that was so honest and really did more than we’d expect. Especially as the cost of the taxi  ride was less than the cost of the postage!”

“He’s a great ambassador for Madrid and a true gentleman,” the fan added.

Hands shared his story on Facebook forums for Liverpool fans and expats in Madrid where some told him how lucky he was, and others also shared their stories of kind-hearted Madrileños.

“It's so nice to hear a good story for a change”, wrote one.  “Thank you for restoring my faith in the human race.”

“This in my experience is Madrileños. More than one thank you they get bored with and just want you to shut up!” wrote another.

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