Sir Alex Ferguson
“We have to score. If we do, that means we have a good chance as the atmosphere at Old Trafford (next Tuesday) will be electric,” he told MUTV. “On so many occasions over the years, I’ve referred to the fans as the 12th man. We want to make sure it’s a real sea of red and white and if we can do that we have a big, big chance. There have been times when there’s been a great harmony between the players and the supporters. We need top volume from the fans. When they do that, we respond.”
“We are confident, definitely,” he told ManUtd.com. “People talk about them being the best side in the tournament but I don’t know. We have already beaten Roma and Lyon, the best sides in Italy and France. Barcelona, if you look at the league table, aren’t the best team in Spain and weren’t last season either. We know we’re playing a top side. People talk about ‘acid tests’ but I think each game is an acid test. Barcelona have great prestige and history, but whether they’re the best team around at the moment, we’ll have to wait and see.”
“We want to play much better at this stage and go on and win the trophy. Near the end of last season we had to play with some injured players,” he said. “It was nearly the same faces all the time and it was a bit hard for us. Maybe that was the reason we did not do so well in the final stages of the Champions League. This season we have a bigger squad and we are in good shape going into this game. We have a tough job but we will do our best to try and contain them and get a good result.”
“I am a supporter of Barcelona, but defend the shirt of United and I want us to win.”
“Villarreal beat Barca twice. United haven’t called me. Perhaps, they know I wouldn’t reveal our secrets,” he said. “I still hear from some of the guys I played with at youth-level, but not that many from the first team. Nevertheless, I will support Manchester.”
“I have a great deal of respect for Sir Alex Ferguson. He has done a great job. Without any doubt he is one of the best and most influential around. He is the embodiment of football. Although we respect them, we think we are capable of going through.”
“I do not fear playing against Manchester United, it is true they are going through an excellent moment but in 180 minutes of football anything can happen,” he said. “Barcelona plays better against big teams. For any player to play against United is a challenge and not a problem, we plan to go face-to-face with them without fear.”
“We will stop Cristiano Ronaldo but not by kicking him, this week we have worked by looking at videos and my colleagues in defence are ready for him,” he said. “The squad is ready for these two enormous matches. It will be complicated but the challenge is not impossible. If you analyse it, man to man, Barcelona is not so inferior to Manchester United. People say the English are favourites and that is a positive for us.”
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