Barcelona will be taking on Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 stage of the season. It is already one of the most awaited fixtures, as the latter have been doing extremely well in the Premier league under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini. Even though they have not entered into the stage of the Champions League in their history, Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has said that he respects the Premier league outfit hugely. City have spent in excess of £ 700 million in improving the squad over the last few years.
As a result, they have some of the best players in the world like Sergio Aguero and Yaya Touré. Martino says that his team will not be taking City lightly since they have the capability to hurt any team in the world. The first leg will be at the Etihad stadium followed by the second leg at the Camp Nou. This gives Barcelona a slight advantage after having finished top of their group. The Catalan club remain as one of the most prestigious in this tournament after having won the title four times in their history. City, meanwhile, are only looking for their first win.
Martino has pointed out to the recent history of Barcelona in this competition. The Spanish club have made it to the semi-finals in the last six seasons.
“For the last six seasons Barcelona have made it to the semis and the fans are used to it. It will be difficult to understand if we don’t go through but it is the tightest tie of all. I don’t think City are a mini-Barcelona or a mini-any-team. I think they are one of the greatest teams in the world. They have great Spanish players like [Jesús] Navas, who plays very vertically, [David] Silva who knows when to pass and when to cross. But it is not only Spanish players,” said Martino.