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28.04.2008 10:16

“With the same intensity we can go through”

Sandra Sarmiento

The Portuguese player Deco, who brought off a great game in the first leg, admitted to www.fcbarcelona.cat and Barça TV that Barça had a “lot of possibilities” of going through to the final if the team plays with the “same intensity” as a week ago.

These are the impressions of a footballer who, like Thierry Henry, knows what it is loke to beat Manchester United in the Champions League. Deco remembers that on his visit to Old Trafford, four seasons ago, there was a “special atmosphere” in the English ground, but nothing which could affect Barça negatively. In passing, in the interview with www.fcbarcelona.cat and Barça TV gave the recipe for getting to the final: “It will be a different game and, if we can get past their first line of pressure and play with the same intensity as the fiorst leg, we have a lot of possibilities”.

You already eliminated Manchester United from the Champions with Oporto in the 2003/2004 season. What was that game like?

_40017057_deco_ap33.jpg“The truth is that at home we were by far superior, somewhat like Wednesday’s game in the Camp Nou, and they were lucky enough to score first. I think they scored first but we fought back and could even have won 3-1 or 4-1. In the end we went to Manchester with a 2-1 advantage and they, playing well, scored a goal. And in the end we continued to press forward and in the 92nd minute, we managed to level the score. But I think we were superior overall in the qualifier, even though we could have been out on goal difference.

How do you remember the game at Old Trafford?

“We suffered a lot, because they went ahead. We were better, playing well and controlling the game, we ended up drawing. Although they also had a goal disqualified. It was, without doubt, the most complicated qualifier getting to the final, but also the most emotional having scored in the end”.

Can you compare that United with this one?

“I don’t think they’ve changed that much. All they have now is Cristiano Ronaldo stronger than before. Then he was much younger and wasn’t the centre of attraction, but in general they are still a strong team.

What is the atmosphere like in Old Trafford?

QM3D0909.jpg“I think that in the first 15 to twenty minutes they’re going to really push it and try and get the atmosphere on their side, with a lot of pressure. I think if we can handle this initial situation it will be to our benefit. It’s a special pitch, without a doubt, and also a special atmosphere, but this won’t affect us. We have very experienced players”.

You already demonstrated on Wednesday that you could beat them

“Yes, but it will be a different game, in that we will take both each other on in a different way. They will pressure us more, but we will have more possibilities when we have the ball. I think we have a lot of possibilities and if we play with the same intensity as Wednesday we can go through”.

Among others, Leo Messi will have more options of breaking down his wing than in the Camp Nou

fcb-manchester_x11x.jpg“That’s right. If they go out to pressure more and we can overcome their first line of attack, we will have more options and more space and we have to make the most of this”.

Are you worried about not having scored recently?

“We would worry about the fact of not creating. Because when you don’t create it’s more complicated. The fact that we are creating is a good sign for scoring, so I’m not worried”.
“With the same intensity we can go through”

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His physical form
On Wednesday we saw you play well, even though you haven’t played for a while. How do you feel?

“After so long it’s more difficult. After so long without playing and in a game as intense as Wednesday’s, it’s not easy. I also played for a few minutes against Deportivo and I think I’ll be fit for Tuesday”.

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