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Zubizarreta, Bernabéu and Bartomeu in Nyon

The Champions League quarter-final draw this Friday has set up a Milan-Barça showdown, precisely the match up that Guardiola wanted to avoid. “We’ve already played against them in the group stages, and it’s not very appealing to take on teams you’ve already played against,” said Andoni Zubizarreta after today’s draw. “We prefer to play against new teams, sides that don’t know us as well and that we can better analyse,” added the football director from Nyon.

“It’s Milan, and that’s that,” said Zubizarreta. The fact that Barça will play the return leg at the Camp Nou may be a slight advantage, but Zubizarreta said, “this is always a debate. History says that it’s always better to play the second game at home, but modern football is so competitive that this factor isn’t as decisive as it was before. For me, because I’m a veteran, I prefer to play the return leg at home.”

“We’ll have to play football well”

On the Italian club, the director said that “Milan is a great club, with great players. We’ll have to play football well and be better than them in order to get to the semi-finals.”

Zubizarreta doesn’t want to think about a hypothetical final: “we’re still in the room where the draw took place. If you look at the bracket with all the games, you see so many teams and so much football [to be played] that talking about a final is too speculative.”

Zubizarreta, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Amador Bernabéu were FC Barcelona’s representatives in Nyon.

UEFA supports Éric Abidal

Before today’s draw, UEFA had showed their support to Éric Abidal. Andoni Zubizarreta was grateful on behalf of the Frenchman: “I want to thank them for their gesture, they’re saying that he will win this game. We need to be close to Éric and his family. He’s a strong man and we have to help him more forward.”

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