Manchester United will face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side look to reach their first semi-final in
Manchester United will face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side look to reach their first semi-final in the competition since 2011.
United qualified for the last eight with a spectacular 3-1 victory over PSG earlier this month which overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit.
The Red Devils will face a difficult test in the form of Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona, who demolished Lyon 5-1 to secure their progression.
Solskjaer have given his initial thoughts on the challenging match-up, and revealed the usual reason that his friends are confident that his side will progress.
He said: ”I’ve had so many texts from friends saying this year is going to be the year that we’ll get through because of my number, 20, and it being 20 years ago.”
Solskjaer played for United from 1996 until 2007 – scoring 126 goals during that period.
The 46-year-old was issued the number 20 shirt for the 1996/97 campaign and wore it during the famous Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich (which took place in Barcelona) – which will be 20 years ago in May.
The ex-Norway international reminisced on his fixtures against the Spanish giants as a player, and revealed that he is relishing the challenge of facing one of Europe’s best sides.
He said: “Yes, it had to be [Barcelona]! We’re off to the Nou Camp again!
“It was the biggest night I’ve had in football [the final in 1999]. Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night.
“It’s a great stadium, and, of course, we met them in the group stages as well that year – 3-3 each both home and away. It’ll be a good game.
“We want these games against the biggest clubs and the biggest teams.
“We had the finals against them in 2009 and 2011 and the semi-final in 2008 when Scholesy [Paul Scholes] scored, and it’s those games that our supporters and this club crave.
“We are looking forward to this one.“
After the shock progression in France earlier in the campaign, Solskjaer insisted that he wasn’t concerned on their possible opponents in the next round.
“We’re happy to be through, so many good teams anyway so we’ll know in a couple of hours time who we’re gonna play against,” he said.
“I don’t really mind who we gonna play because it’s gonna be tough anyway if you’re gonna win it.”
United will host Barca on April 4 before travelling to Spain for the decider six days later.