Puyol: We must keep feet on ground

BY foxsports • March 18, 2010

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol knows his side cannot afford to get carried away by their four-goal Champions League demolition of Stuttgart.

Barca cruised through to the quarter-finals with a convincing 5-1 aggregate victory and they remain favourites to defend their European title at the Bernabeu stadium in May.

It was an impressive performance on Wednesday night by Pep Guardiola's side, for whom Lionel Messi netted a brace and Pedro Rodriguez and Bojan Krkic also got on the scoresheet, but Puyol is adamant the Catalan giants will remain grounded, knowing how easily things can go awry in this competition.

Highly-fancied trio Real Madrid, Chelsea and AC Milan have all been dumped out at the last-16 stage this season, while aside from Manchester United, no Champions League winner had previously managed to get to the quarter-finals the following year since the 2003/04 competition.

"The euphoria is normal but we have our feet on the ground as it's already been shown you can have one bad day and be eliminated," said Puyol.

Winger Pedro added: "We are getting closer (to retaining their title) but it's difficult and we have to take it step by step.

"All the remaining teams will be difficult, we respect them and we have to be focused."

Barca go into Friday's draw for the last last eight along with 2008 winners and last season's runners-up Manchester United, Arsenal, Inter Milan, Lyon, Bordeaux, CSKA Moscow and Bayern Munich.

Barca president Joan Laporta said: "I'm very pleased. It was important to get through to the quarters, the team deserved it. We are on the right path. The important thing is that we are continuing forward with high hopes and that we can make our dreams come true."

He added: "We have very difficult opponents ahead of us. We cannot think about the final, on Friday we will know who we will face and we will continue working as we have until now. They will be some hard-fought quarter-finals."

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