Mar 9, 2017 08:17:46
The 25-year-old defender explained how intense it is playing at Camp Nou, where even the most routine of slips can prove critical
Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko says that losing 7-0 at Barcelona was an “eye-opening” experience and that against players of the quality the Catalans boast, even the slightest error can be vital.
Paris Saint-Germain discovered that to their cost on Wednesday, as they were eliminated from the Champions League 6-5 on aggregate, having held a 4-0 lead from the first leg. PSG conceded three times in the last two minutes to suffer elimination on a historic night, but the Dane says these things are possible and must be treated as a “learning experience”.
The Scottish champions, meanwhile, went to Barca on the opening night of the competition and suffered a heavy loss, but centre-back Sviatchenko now draws the positives from such an experience.
“It was tough. To be fair, it was an experience even during the game,” he told Goal. “Now I can reflect back on it even more, but it’s never nice to be a part of a loss that big, but you also learn. I think you saw into the next game that we learned something about it, but from a personal perspective it’s all about the small details.
“You make one mistake, one pass, that might not go for a goal otherwise, it immediately is punished when you play against Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and so on. But it was a good experience and it was something I thought about during the game too.”
Brendan Rodgers’ side turned the negative experience into a positive one, according to the 25-year-old, who has helped his team to an incredible domestic record of 26 wins and one draw from 27 matches.
“It wasn’t a turning point because it was so early in the season, but it was an eye opener in some ways – we need to do much better if we want to be as good as we want to be,” he said.
“The potential is something we can dwell on, because it’s something that’s shown really quickly. It’s only been six months since the summer, when we started with the new team. What we have learned, where we are now, how we are playing, it’s been really good.”
Celtic ended the group stage winless, but not without credit as they twice drew against Manchester City and once against Borussia Monchengladbach. Sviatchenko, who was linked with a January transfer to English champions Leicester, believes that Brendan Rodgers side have built the foundations for a more successful tilt next term.
“It was close, there were small margins that could have decided it differently,” he said. “It’s always something you want to dream about, but then again you saw the group we were in – this campaign was difficult.
“But the last 16 is always something you want to strive after and it should be a goal for the club to go as far as we can.
“We’re not just tourists in these big tournaments.”
Erik Sviatchenko was talking to Goal on behalf of New Balance Football. To find out more about New Balance Football go to newbalance.com/football or follow @NBFootball on Twitter and Instagram, @nbfootballofficial on Facebook and NB.Football on Snapchat.