Champions League news

Zambrotta expects Barca to beat Milan

February 19, 2013
By Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

Former AC Milan and Barcelona full-back Gianluca Zambrotta says the Blaugrana are better placed to progress from their Champions League tie.

Gianluca Zambrotta
AssociatedGianluca Zambrotta rates Barcelona as the best team in the world

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Ahead of Wednesday's first leg at San Siro, Zambrotta told El Mundo Deportivo that Barca were strong favourites to make it through to the quarter-finals.

"It will be difficult for Milan," he said. "Barcelona are the best team in the world. You never know, but it will be tough for [Milan]."

The 35-year-old, who was one of several senior players released by Milan in the summer of 2012, said the current Rossoneri line-up lacks Champions League experience but does have some quality players.

"They are a fragile team, without much experience in Europe," he said. "Their dangermen are [Stephan] El Shaarawy and [Riccardo] Montolivo."

Zambrotta, currently doing his coaching badges in Italy, visited his former Barcelona team-mates in Catalonia this week. He said that even though his two seasons at the Camp Nou brought just one trophy, the Spanish Supercopa, it had nevertheless been a footballing education.

"We had a spectacular team, with [Thierry] Henry, Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta," he said. "[Former Barcelona coach Frank] Rijkaard showed me a totally new way of playing football. When I arrived, I was also stuck in the middle of the 'rondos'. Even [goalkeeper Victor] Valdes was better than me with his feet. Here I learned how to play football better."