Gerard Pique and Ernesto Valverde preview Manchester United v Barcelona


"It would be a great game, but any team with Messi playing for them would be the favourites".

The centre-back pointed to the fact that several of the Barcelona players have won the tournament before and insisted that they're not motivated by what Los Blancos have achieved.

Pique put United's tie with PSG as an example and a warning for Barcelona: "You can not let United stay alive in the tie because they have a great team and a great history". It's a great example for us.

Pique, 32, spent his formative years at United under Sir Alex Ferguson. "I feel both teams will continue to play in the way they have been recently".

Meanwhile, Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho named two of the Manchester United players as the biggest dangers to the Catalans, in the upcoming games.

"They consider the Premier League the same as the Champions League here - if not more important - and since the Ferguson era they've been the biggest team and will keep on being the biggest team".

"I was here from 17 to 21, I had my first experience as a professional, playing games with great names and I also had some insane times here". Despite his lack of game time, the Spaniard says he learnt a lot during his time in Manchester.

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"I left my family and friends and came to live on my own".

Pogba, a player transformed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will be key to United's chances. "Paul's job is to be the creator, when we win the ball, that he drives forward, so I expect him to perform".

Manchester United have not beaten Barcelona in the Champions League since defeating them 1-0 in the semi-final stage in 2008. He helped me a lot to adapt to the club, to the country, to the city.

For a club steeped in a history of inspirational midfielders such as Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes who demanded the highest standards of themselves and those around them, Pogba is too often hit or miss.

While the pair, who have each won five Ballon d'Or titles, won't come into direct competition for now following their nine-year battle in Spain, Messi and Ronaldo could well meet in the final of this season's Champions League.

We have to concentrate from the first minute to the last minute of the tie.

"We weren't lucky with the ref against PSG where they should have had a man sent off so we hope for some luck there as well". "There's a lot of excitement".