PSG players ready to make history by winning Champions League, says Sarabia

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Paris Saint-Germain's players are motivated to create history by winning this season's Champions League, according to midfielder Pablo Sarabia.

The French giants have previously won the Cup Winners' Cup and Intertoto Cup but have never made it beyond the semi-final stage of UEFA's showpiece competition.

Having already wrapped up a domestic treble this term, PSG now turn focus to Wednesday's one-legged Champions League quarter-final with Atalanta in Lisbon.

But while Sarabia is out to write his name in club folklore, he acknowledges that overcoming free-scoring Atalanta - who finished third in Serie A - will be a big task.

"It's a great opportunity. We will try to make it a reality and to make the history of Paris Saint-Germain," he told the club's official website.

"I think now is a great time to do it. We've been focused on this for quite some time now. We will have to be ready. 

"We will thoroughly study our opponent and perform well to be able to make history. I think we are ready for this game which is very important. We are really motivated.

"Atalanta are a good team. They showed they could play, do a lot of pressing. Up front they have great players who can score a lot of goals. 

"What we will try to do with our weapons and our football is to neutralise our opponents' strengths and demonstrate our own."

In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, this year's knockout stages are unique given the condensed tournament will be staged on neutral territory from the quarter-finals onwards with each match played over one leg.

Either RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid await in the semis should PSG see off Atalanta and Sarabia believes the new format may suit his side thanks to their success in one-off ties.

"We have adapted to the situation. It's unique because we're going to play all the games in one place, in one game, which has never happened before," he said.

"One of the challenges for all teams will be to adapt well. The more this will be the case, the more they will perform in the competition. 

"We have just played two finals which were hotly contested. We tried to play our best football and stay together as a team. We also had to use our experience. 

"Now we are naturally very motivated and full of hope for what will follow, namely the Champions League. It's the biggest competition, the one everyone wants to win."

PSG had a near five-month gap between competitive matches before beating Saint-Etienne 1-0 in the Coupe de France final on July 24.

Thomas Tuchel's men, who are sweating on the fitness of star striker Kylian Mbappe, followed up that victory with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Lyon in the Coupe de la Ligue final a week later.

Sarabia is happy with PSG's preparation heading into the showdown with Atalanta, adding: "Little by little, we have improved physically. 

"It is true that the preparation is a long time, but we are gradually improving. We have gained confidence and accumulated playing time, which has helped us to improve. 

"I think it's a good time for us. We have to go step by step. We all think of Wednesday's game. It's the game that counts now, the most important of the season."