Tuesday March 27 2012
Nocerino: Milan can topple Barcelona

Antonio Nocerino is convinced that Milan can get past Barcelona to progress in the Champions League.

Although restricted by injuries, the midfielder has confidence in the skills of his teammates ahead of Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg tie.

“This squad always has the ability to make the difference,” he told the Corriere dello Sport on Tuesday.

“When someone is missing, the players that come in always do well. We can hurdle any difficulty, even Barcelona.

“We recovered in the League during an injury crisis and we can continue in the Champions League too.”

Nocerino is expected to start against the European champions and he’s aware of what is at stake for the Diavolo.

“I think it is the most important game of my career,” said the summer signing from Palermo. “I hope it is one of the first of a series of massive ties for me.”

The 26-year-old began the campaign slowly, but he’s been sensational in Serie A after bagging nine goals in 27 League games so far.

“The criticism which I received gave me the strength to improve,” continued the Italian international.

“I’m missing goals in Europe though. I could have scored at Arsenal, but the most important thing for me is to take home points and trophies.”

One of the main reasons behind Nocerino’s unexpected scoring touch has been his link-up play with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Ibrahimovic has no reason to envy Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo,” added the former Juventus player. “He’s always won and scored in Italy, the most difficult of championships.

“I’m happy to be his teammate and he’s a prodigy when it comes to assists like Antonio Cassano and Robinho. He’s a simple and normal guy, even if he gets annoyed…”

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