Franco Baresi: Barcelona are favourites

Former Milan legend Franco Baresi believes Barcelona remain favourites to overcome the Serie A leaders when the two teams meet in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Camp Nou tomorrow night.

In an interview with AS Baresi, who made over 500 appearances for Milan, said he thought the Italians’ best chance of winning the tie may have gone after the goalless first leg in the San Siro.

“After the game last week, I still think the favourite is Barcelona. That is not only my opinion, the rest of Italy also believes that,” said the former Milan defender. “Nevertheless, Milan will have their options. The important thing was not conceding a goal at San Siro and that objective was successful in the first leg.”

“It is true that Milan are playing very well, but doing so against Barcelona is another story. They play a very dramatic and effective game in front of goal and I am sure the game tomorrow will be a spectacular one. Everyone at Milan is motivated to eliminate Barcelona.”

“Lionel Messi moves very well and is always able to find space or to assist his teammates,” Baresi responded when asked how Milan intended to deal with the Argentine goal machine. “All the Milan players must be alert to this extraordinary player, who is able to do everything in a moment.”

Baresi added that comparisons with another Argentine hero, Diego Maradona, were inappropriate.

“They are completely different. Barcelona are undoubtedly now much stronger than Maradona’s team. The real point is that, even without Messi, you should remember that Barca also have Fabregas, Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets. All of those players make Barca the best team around today.”

As the lynchpin of Arrigo Sacchi’s famous Milan side, Baresi was asked about the top Coaches in La Liga.

“Pep Guardiola was a very intelligent player. I always felt that very strongly when I was on the pitch with him,” Baresi recalled. “He knew how to move and was very aware of the movement of others. As for Mourinho, he’s a great Coach. He won in Italy, England, Portugal and he can do so in Spain. He has lots of personality to achieve great things and command the dressing room. Of course, his misfortune is to have met Barcelona.”

The full interview with Franco Baresi can be read here.

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