Ronaldinho: Victory can start a Barca dynasty

April 25, 2006

Barcelona forward Ronaldinho believes the Champions League semi-final clash with AC Milan is a defining moment for the Catalan side as they bid to make a mark on the world stage.

Barca take a 1-0 advantage into the second leg of their encounter with Milan at the Nou Camp and are strong favourites to reach the final.

They are also well on course to defend their Primera Liga title as they have an eight-point cushion at the top of the standings.

With some of the best players in the world at their disposal, Barca could go on to dominate European football and repeat the success of the famous Milan side of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Ronaldinho believes winning this season's Champions League will start the ball rolling for the Catalan giants, whose last success on Europe's biggest stage was in 1992.

'We want to make history here at Barca like Milan have done in the past and we have a lot of respect for their achievements,' he said.

'We have everything in place here to make that possible and to win the competition.

'It is important the club wins major competitions because, although we have a great team, we need to turn that into trophies.

'We have to prepare ourselves properly for this match but we are very motivated and looking forward to playing.'

Ludovic Giuly's goal in the first leg at the San Siro separates the sides going into the return fixture but Ronaldinho insists the tie is far from over.

'We are up against a great team and I will be facing strong defenders in either Cafu or (Jaap) Stam,' he added.

'I am ready to face either. I know Cafu as I have played with him on numerous occasions and Stam is a very strong player, but I am fully fit and looking forward to the game.

'The team need to play in the same way as we did in the first game. It is important we now forget the result in Milan and go out expecting a difficult game.'

The former Paris St Germain star may be the jewel in the Barcelona crown but he appreciates his team-mates will have important role to play in the match.

'There is no player who is unstoppable,' he said.

'Every player can have a bad night but I hope that I have a good night and that we progress.

'For me, everyone in the team is important and my job is to go out and provide as many good passes as I can and help the team get to the final.'

Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard, who has midfielder Deco back from suspension and striker Henrik Larsson available again after injury, will send his side out to win the game rather than to sit on their first-leg advantage.

'I feel good at the moment because we are in a great tournament and we are up against a great team with an advantage,' he said.

'Hopefully we will work hard and achieve our aim. These are the moments you live for as a sportsman.

'We will approach the game as we always do. We do not have to worry about the opposition because we are confident in ourselves.

'We will concentrate on the good elements of our game - this has worked for us so far.'