Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué is out to prove all the naysayers wrong tonight at the Etihad stadium in Manchester.
The Azulgranas are going head to head tonight with a confident Manchester City side who aspire to greatness. There has been a lot of negative press lately saying that Barça do not pose a great threat and even Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho stated that City will be coming up against the weakest Barcelona side in recent years.
Gerard Piqué however, is out to prove just what a formidable side Barcelona really is.The defender readily accepts that the club may have lost the spark they once had under Guardiola with their 2009 and 2011 European trophies but the Catalan giants are top of the Spanish League and according to the defender are hardly a spent force.
Pique´believes his club still command respect even though it’s been two years since their last Champions League triumph.
The defender said:
“We are a team with a lot of players who have won the World Cup, Champions Leagues and leagues.
“I think we can still be the best but we have to show to the world that we can do it.
“This is a great opportunity to show we are top players and can win here.”
Mourinho was telling UK TV channel ITV that City are facing the worst Barcelona team in recent times. He said:
“Of course by history Barcelona is the favourite, but this Barcelona, this season, is showing that it is not the same in previous years.
“Of course, they have Messi – he is special – and they have more than him. But I think this is the worst Barcelona of many many years, so City have a chance.”
Piqué was speaking to the media in Manchester and his trip back there brought back many happy memories. He joined Manchester United from Barça’s famed youth setup at the age of 17 and spent 3 years under Ferguson.
“I was 17 when I came here, a child. Obviously I would have liked to have played more but it was a very special three years, I learned a lot.
“I always say Manchester United is my second team after Barça and Sir Alex Ferguson is the best.”
While United may not be the dominant force this year, there is only one Manchester club he would play for said the Barcelona defender.
While the über confident Pellegrini and his men think of world domination, Barcelona only have to go out and do what they know best.It won’t be a walkover for City, make no mistake about it and this over confidence could come back and bite them where it hurts most if they are not careful.
With Messi and Neymar back from injury along with Barcelona’s star studded lineup, they present more than a match for the zealous City boys.