MADRID – Barcelona are “not afraid” of facing Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 next month, the Spanish giants’ emblematic midfielder Andres Iniesta said in an interview published Saturday.
Last week Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure said Barcelona — who he used to play for — were afraid of their impending clash because of the English club’s excellent form.
“They are quite afraid about us, the way they see us play in the Premier League at home especially, they’re quite scared,” said the 30-year-old, who joined Manchester City from Barcelona in 2010.
“We play fantastic football and we score goals, it’s total attack. But it’s going to be a tough game and for us we know if we’re to win we need to be at the top of our game.”
Asked about Toure’s comments during an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca, Iniesta said: “We are not scared. This is football, the Champions League and Barca can’t be scared of anyone.”
“It’s going to be an intense and exciting tie. I think City was the toughest side we could have drawn and will prove a good test for us,” the 29-year-old added.
Iniesta, who signed a three-year contract extension with Barcelona on Monday which will keep him with the La Liga leaders until at least June 2018, said he would like to end his career at the club.
“I think I still have many years left playing at the highest level and only time will tell where I end up. I’d like to end my career at Bara, but ultimately, my career will be defined by what I’ve won,” he said.
Under the deal he signed last week, after 2018 Iniesta’s contract will be automatically extended annually if he has played a certain number of matches in the previous season.
Winner of three Champions League trophies with Barcelona in 2006, 2009 and 2011, Iniesta was also key to Spain taking the World Cup in 2010 and being crowned European champions in 2008 and 2012.