Barcelona and Spain star striker Pedro has told Sky Sports that Tuesday night’s game against Manchester City at the Etihad is the Catalans biggest test so far this season.
Pedro says that if Barcelona had to pick a club to play in this round of the Champions League it certainly would not have been Manchester City, yet he admits if you want to win the competition you have to beat the best teams in it.
“Really we would have preferred another rival in the draw,” he said, “but if Barcelona dreams of the final in Lisbon, it is obligatory to beat the big rivals – and City is on that list.
“We always play to our maximum level but perhaps this week we are looking at the most important match of the season.
“Manchester City is a tough rival in its own stadium but we are prepared to play in these venues. I like the atmosphere in England. For me, it is an example for other leagues.”
Pedro says that ultimately the tie will be decided at the Nou Camp, but it is important that Barca takes at least one goal away with them.
“Normally this round will be resolved in the Nou Camp, but we want a good score in England,” he added. “Not only a goal, but a match of quality.”
The 26-year-old striker says that Barcelona cannot and will not rely on solely on Lionel Messi in Manchester.
“Messi today is the number one player in world football, but the matches are decided by the squad,” he said.
“Barca have won matches without Leo but is true that he generates fear in his rivals.”
Pedro also thinks that City manager Manuel Pellegrini has an advantage with his knowledge of Spanish football after his time at Villarreal, Malaga and Real Madrid.
“Pellegrini has worked in Spain and so he knows us, which is an advantage for City – but it won’t be decisive,” he said.
“It is also excellent that we will meet national colleagues like Silva, Negredo and Navas. We will greet them before the match but on the pitch, we cannot afford to concede anything to them as they are key players for City.”