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Luiz: It's the end that matters

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 9:01:00 AM America/Los_Angeles

Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz said the French champions must show they are serious European contenders by reaching the latter stages of this season's UEFA Champions League.

PSG have already qualified for the knockout phase as runners-up behind Real Madrid in Group A and host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday in the final round of matches. However, after three straight quarter-final exits Brazilian defender Luiz insisted Laurent Blanc's men need to go further in this year's competition.

"We are stronger (than last season). But it's not easy to win the Champions League and face the best teams. If we don't get past the quarter-finals, we can say we haven't progressed -- we have to go further," Luiz told a press conference. "The experience we've gathered, the stability of the squad, with the players who are here, are the reasons we are better than last season. We work well together, we've had a good start, but the start counts for little, it's the end that matters."

PSG have swept aside all-comers domestically, opening up a 15-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, but face the possibility of coming up against Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the last 16 when the draw is made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon next Monday. And Blanc, whose men will finish behind Madrid even if they end on the same numbers of points, admitted he hoped his team were not made to regret a 1-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu when PSG were left to rue a host of missed chances.

"I hope we won't regret the draw," said the Frenchman. "Not getting a positive result (in Spain) is a huge regret."

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