Dan Burn says he realized a dream by scoring in Newcastle’s 4-1 Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain when he was left without a club after being rejected by Fulham in his mid-20s.
Newcastle topped Group F in their first Champions League campaign since 2002-03 after defeating French champions PSG in St Louis. James Park followed with goals from Miguel Almiron, Burn, Sean Longstaff and Fabian Schar.
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And Burn, who grew up in nearby Blyth as a Newcastle supporter, said the goals and performances kept him waiting to “wake me up” from his dreams.
“It hasn’t sunk in, I’m a little speechless,” Burns told TNT Sports. “It’s like a dream and I’m waiting for someone to wake me up, I’m waiting for the bubble to burst.
“I obviously can’t believe it. Home games are where we can go and attack and Dortmund is next. I can’t believe I’m saying Dortmund is next!”
Having spent most of his career in the lower leagues of English football at clubs including Yeovil, Wigan and Birmingham, Byrne said he had a difficult path to the Champions League.
“I just tried to survive at that beginner level and you try to work your way up,” he said. “I was released by Fulham at 25; to come back and play Champions League football – I’m very proud.”
Two years after Newcastle were bought by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Wednesday’s victory was the biggest of their new era.
“I remember when the takeover happened,” Byrne said. “I was out with my dad and I thought, ‘I think I’m done now, I’ll never get to Newcastle.’ Three months later, I signed on deadline day and went straight from there.”
James Park, a scorer on St. A’s great night, was a player far removed from the “Galacticos” many thought Newcastle could sign under football’s richest owners.
Longstaff, like Burn, grew up in the local area as a childhood fan of the club.
“It’s unreal for me and Barney to score,” Longstaff said. “There are a few who probably thought we were out the door. I’m so proud to be from Newcastle, I’m over the moon.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.