Clarence Seedorf is looking forward to testing his mettle against Barcelona again in a game he describes as a spectacle.
Speaking in the pre-match UEFA Press conference alongside Massimiliano Allegri, Dutch midfielder Seedorf looked forward to the challenge facing him and his Milan teammates on Wednesday night.
“For Milan, the main objective is to enter the field to win. Even if tomorrow there are many other things at stake besides the win, I think it would be a great thing for us.
“We are playing the best team in the world and the respect we have for them is total and we must strive to maximise this opportunity to grow and of course the result must obviously favour Milan.
“I believe that these games are always spectacular because you deal with two clubs that have a great history in football. Perhaps the Spanish create a better show on the pitch, but the Italians have won a great deal.
In the end I think this is a spectacle - a game between two teams who know what it means to win have that mentality.
“For me it will be a special game as it is every time we play in Europe - over the past five years, Barcelona have more or less been the best team in the world and this is an opportunity for us to achieve an important result.
“We must congratulate Barcelona for their successes, but Milan must play in the best way possible. [Lionel] Messi is always a pleasure to watch, if we stop we’ll get in trouble.”
Seedorf then reflected on the club’s ambitions for this season in Europe.
“Certainly, the Champions League calls me and everyone, it is the most important cup to win. After the disappointment of last year, all at once there was the desire to do better - I think we are right to dream, to have the ambition to aim high and to win.
“We have the means to do so, of course, we must grow, but the fact that we are already qualified gives us a way to do so before February and March.”
When the Rossoneri travelled to the Camp Nou for the reverse fixture on matchday one of the Group Stages, they earned a surprise 2-2 draw, with goals scored in the first and final minutes of play.
“Few would have bet on a draw - that result gave us a great push forward and the belief that we are better than last year - we had begun by drawing with the strongest team in the world.
“We are stronger than last year in all senses and to play against the best is a great opportunity to grow.
“Honestly, I was not happy with our performance in Barcelona, we could have done better. But you have to see the glass as half full, and seeing the result and how the match went and the size of the team we played against, overall it was a good game.
“Also, defending is an art and we defended very well.”
The match also sees Zlatan Ibrahimovic line up against his former teammates for the first time since his autobiography was published. In that, the forward describes in detail his clashes with Barca Coach Pep Guardiola whilst labelling his former Catalan teammates as ‘schoolboys who do what they’re told’.
Sergio Busquets admitted on Monday that the Barcelona players are unsure as to how they will react to seeing Ibra on Wednesday, but Seedorf has looked to play down the book’s significance.
“I believe that Guardiola is a very intelligent person and that is reaction is always that of absolute calm. I think that Ibra has really wanted to play and to prove himself, but I do not think there’s much more to it than that.”
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