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UEFA Champions League: Barcelona legend Ronaldinho reveals how Manchester United can beat the Catalan giants

ANALYST
News
15 Apr 2019, 21:37 IST

Ronaldinho won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in 2006.
Ronaldinho won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in 2006.

What's the story?

Ronaldinho, one of the greatest player of his generation, if not all time, believes that Premier League outfit Manchester United shouldn't be ruled out of contention for a semi-finals spot in the UEFA Champions League, despite them trailing Barcelona by one goal from the opening tie of their QF fixture at Old Trafford last week.

Speaking to Jeremy Cross of Daily Star, the 2005 Ballon d'Or winner stated that a one goal lead is too narrow to be considered decisive and predicts that whichever team scores the first goal at the Nou Camp, will be in commanding position to book a place in the last four.

In case you didn't know...

Ronaldinho, who played for PSG, Milan and Barcelona in his trophy-laden career, came very close to joining the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003, but he opted for the Catalan giants instead and the rest is history.

Till date, he remains one of the biggest stars of the sports to have rejected a move to the English top-flight.

Barcelona have gone 30 home games in Europe without losing and are strong favourites to beat United at Nou Camp, which has become a fortress for them in recent times.

The Heart of the matter...

The 39-year-old, who retired from professional football in January last year, is now back at the LaLiga club, after a period of ten years, having agreed to join them as an Ambassador last December, to represent the Spanish club at various institutional events.

Ahead of the crucial second leg fixture of the Champions League quarter-final between his old club and English side Manchester United, he declared that the Red Devils are still very much in the tie, even after conceding a goal at home last week. He said,

“The truth is that Barcelona should have finished the game in Manchester - but at just 1-0 Manchester United will still believe that are in this tie."

He said, though Blaugrana are his favourites to progress into the next round, the result of this exciting fixture will be determined by the team who scores the first goal of the game and that's why United still have a chance. He added:

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“I see them[Barcelona] even winning comfortably in Barcelona. It will all be on the first goal.
“If Barcelona score it then it will be a long evening for Manchester United.
“But if they [United] can score the first goal then it's going to make the stadium nervous - and you never know what can happen then.”

What's next?

Manchester United won their latest league fixture and will be heading into the daunting away trip to Barcelona with a much needed boost. But, it remains to be seen, whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men overcome the challenge or Lionel Messi and co. leave them in the dust.

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