Manchester City not scared of Barcelona, insists captain Vincent Kompany
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insists that Manchester City are not afraid of Barcelona and added that it can be harder to play Stoke City than the Catalan side.
City host Barcelona in the Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday. The Catalans beat them 2-0 and 2-1 at the same stage of the competition, last year.
The matchup will pit the Belgian directly against Barcelona's record goal-scorer and four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s attack also boasts two of the most expensive players in football history, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Kompany is adamant that he won't be awed by the task, saying, “Fear? We don't fear them. You don't go in at this level fearing strikers. We want to play against them. It's the fourth time in a year now. There's nothing new to worry us, it's a case of having the whole team at a very high level.”
‘You can have tougher games when you go to Stoke City’: Vincent Kompany
Kompany said that against Barca, one lapse in concentration could cost City dearly. He also admitted that other matches presented more of a physical test, and hence were tougher.
He said, “They're a special team with special players, of course. I think their ability is not about hurting you all game -- you can have tougher games when you go to Stoke City. It's about the fact they can decide a game within a second. They have more players than anyone else in the world who can finish games with a touch of magic.
“But I've come into football to play those games. From the moment I'm feeling reluctant to play in these games I'm not in the right place. This is what I want.”
City have beat Bayern Munich and Roma in last two games of the Champions League
Manchester City will be looking to replicate their form from the last two Champions League matches where they beat Roma and Bayern Munich.
Kompany said, “You hope that on your day you can beat them, but I think it's the same for us as it is for them. It's all about the day -- who is on form. But that's what the Champions League form is about. It's not about putting 30 performances in a row -- but maybe 10 that get you to the end.”
City are yet to reach the last eight of the Champions League, but Kompany reckons it will happen soon. He said, “We're putting in a fight again for the Premier League -- you saw that [in Saturday's 5-0 win against Newcastle].”
“And we'll put in a fight for the Champions League too. The history of this club tells you that in the past six years we always keep progressing. It's only a matter of time.”