After being drawn against Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League, Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has reacted to having to go up against five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Man Utd Line Up Two Ronaldo Replacements
For a second successive season, the Blaugrana have been relegated to the second tier of European competition and their passage to the Europa League round of 16 will not be easy after it was announced on Monday that they would be facing the Red Devils in their knockout play-off.
When asked about his opponents just minutes after the draw in Switzerland, Xavi felt compelled to mention an opponent he knows very well in Ronaldo, whom he went up against on many occasions in his career.
"He's a fantastic player - one of the best in the world in recent times and he can still make a difference," he said in a press conference, as per Goal.
Despite the 37-year-old being the subject of much controversy throughout this season so far, it seems that the LaLiga league leaders are wary of the football icon.
The last game Ronaldo played for United before his first departure from the club was against Barca, a 2-0 UEFA Champions League final defeat in 2009 in Rome, with the superstar joining Real Madrid later that year. Ronaldo went on to represent Los Blancos in some iconic tussles in ElClasico encounters.
Having been banished from the squad by Red Devils coach Erik ten Hag last month, the forward has been reintegrated into the first team in recent weeks.
SA-Born Player Going To World Cup!
This past weekend, the Madeira native wore the armband as United suffered a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, but, despite coming back into the fold, rumours suggest he could still leave the club before the Mancunians face the Catalan giants in February.
You must be SIGNED IN to read and post comments.