Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his Barcelona counterpart Frank Rijkaard are looking forward to meeting each other in what promises to be an epic Champions League semi-final encounter.
Carlos Tevez scored as United won the second-leg 1-0 to secure a 3-0 victory on aggregate over Roma, while Yaya Toure’s first half strike ensured a 2-0 aggregate win for Barcelona over Schalke.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Ferguson. “I think that we have something special in our team.
“We cannot go to Spain and be negative, we must be positive.
“I think it should be one of the most attractive Champions League semi-finals for a while and I’m looking forward to it.
“With their attacking emphasis Barca represent the way the game should be played. Hopefully, by the time we play them we’ll have a fully fit squad.
“We’re carrying a few injuries at the minute but we should have a full squad by then and it will give us a better chance. We should have a real chance.
“I think we’ve something really special here, there’s something really special with this team, and we want to go there and show we’re a special team. Barcelona have a marvellous history, they’re a wonderful club, but we can’t go there and be negative. We have to be really positive.”
United last met Barcelona in the Champions League in 1998 when their group encounter at the Camp Nou ended in a 3-3 draw. The last time United visited the stadium was their memorable 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 final.
The first leg of this year’s tie will also take place in Spain, on 22 or 23 April, with the return leg at Old Trafford on 29 or 30 April.
Rijkaard, meanwhile, insisted that he was “simply happy to get the chance to play in a fantastic match between two great sides”.
“I think it could be a fantastic game,” he added.
“The level of the two sides is very, very high. We now have to think about preparing for a great game against a great team. It’s a wonderful opportunity to play in a game like this. Manchester United are playing very well at the moment.
“I am happy to have this chance but I imagine that they are too. Anything can happen in a game like this and I certainly wouldn’t like to say who’s the favourite.”