Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Blues Must Treat Barca as Equals

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Blues Must Treat Barca as Equals

Article excerpt

SAMIR Nasri says City paid Barcelona too much respect last year - and this time will be treating them more as equals.

The Blues' French mid-field ace made one exception - he says that Lionel Messi, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, plays in "another galaxy", but that the rest of the Barca team are on a par with City's top stars, such as Sergio Aguero.

Last season City stayed in their shell too much in the first leg, and ended up losing 2-0, but Nasri feels they have learned from that.

"I think we respected them too much but we weren't experienced to compete with a club like this," he said. "They know how to win a Champions League.

"I think it was too much of a big game - we were not ready. This year is totally different. We know what we are capable of."

But Nasri added that revenge for last year's 4-1 aggregate beating was not on the menu: "We want to beat Barcelona because we want to go as far as possible, not because we lost last year," he said. "We are better physically than last year - before the first game we had a couple of players injured.

"Everything will be different, we have more experience of this competition now, it's just going to be a matter of the game and not revenge."

Nasri went on to say that Barca midfield pair Andres Iniesta and Xavi were the best midfield pair on the planet, but that he would not be "pretentious" enough to compare himself.

"I think Messi and Ronaldo play in their own galaxy," he said. "They compete with each other. The rest, Luis Suarez and Neymar are the same level as Sergio. Sergio when he is fit can lift the team and score goals.

"Messi is on another galaxy, Xavi and Iniesta were the best midfield in the world for six or seven years.

"I like the way they play. I prefer Iniesta to Xavi because Xavi keeps the ball better but Iniesta can do more things. It is too pretentious to compare myself to them. …

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