PSG should attack Barcelona, says Real Madrid's Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane has told Paris Saint-Germain they "must not be afraid" to attack Barcelona in Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal first leg.

Real Madrid's Varane, 21, has been able to observe Barca at close quarters in domestic competition this season, and told Le Parisien PSG must believe they can unpick the visitors and find the net at the Parc des Princes.

He said: "You have to defend well, firstly. After that, you mustn't be afraid to keep the ball and hurt them. You mustn't just settle for defending, because this team always gives you chances due to their very attacking playing style. Barca open up a lot and that gives you space. So you mustn't be afraid to attack them."

Despite the absence of former Barca man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is suspended following his red card in the last-16 second leg at Chelsea, PSG still have potent attacking options in Edinson Cavani, Lucas, Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Nonetheless, it is the visitors' attacking trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi who will attract the most attention, in particular the latter, who has scored 34 goals in 31 La Liga outings this season.

"You have to take him on collectively," Varane said. "You must never let him run at you at pace. And when possible, depending on his position on the pitch, you have to double-up on him. The midfielders have to help the defenders. The collective aspect is fundamental."

The France international centre-back added: "You have to pay close attention because Suarez runs a lot and they are very good runs he makes. Neymar, his qualities are more with the ball at his feet. In one move, he can make the difference.

"It requires concentration throughout the game. Like with Messi, you have to be close to him so that he doesn't get up a head of steam, and double-up on him when possible."