Barca ready for familiar foes, says Zubizarreta
By Football News
Andoni Zubizarreta concedes that there will be no need for introductions when Barcelona meet Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
The Liga title contenders were the first two names out of the hat in Friday's quarter-final draw, marking the first time the sides will have met in European competition.
And sporting director Zubizarreta, who represented Barca more than 400 times as a player, believes the familiarity between the teams will add an intriguing element to the tie.
"They are used to playing in the Nou Camp and we at the Vicente Calderon," he is quoted as saying by the club's official website. "I think the fact we are playing the first at home will not be so critical.
"If Atletico Madrid are among the eight teams in the quarter-finals that everyone considers the most powerful in the history of the Champions League, it is quite something.
"Anyone who likes football and is not directly identified with a team, enjoy eight major football matches. We look forward to making a positive outcome once the round ends. "
Zubizarreta also claimed the coming months would be crucial in determining the success of Barca's season.
"In the last two months everything is defined," he added. "Let's see if we can keep this final sprint to the finish and in good condition."
The first leg will be played on April 1, with the return tie to follow on April 9.