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Jose Mourinho: This is the worst Barca team for many years


Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Getty Images

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has talked up Manchester City's chances of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time by describing their opponents tonight as "the worst Barcelona for many years".

The Chelsea and former Real Madrid manager, who worked under Bobby Robson when he was in charge at the Nou Camp, often tried to get under the skin of Barcelona during his time at the Bernabeu.

And he returned to the theme last night when he told ITV: "Of course by history Barcelona is the favourite, but this Barcelona this season, is showing that it is not the same in previous years.

"Of course they have [Lionel] Messi, he is special, and they have more than him.

"But I think this is the worst Barcelona of many, many years - so City have a chance."

Barcelona are top of La Liga on goal difference and are through to the final of the Copa del Rey, where they will face Real Madrid.

In recent weeks, Mourinho has attacked Manchester City for their big spending, has accused Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of being a 'specialist in failure' and now has turned his attentions to Barcelona.

Barcelona have not been the untouchable force they once were under Pep Guardiola. This season they have lost away at Ajax and suffered a 3-2 defeat against Valencia at the Nou Camp this month.

The Spanish giants travelled to Manchester yesterday ahead of the first leg of the round of 16 fixture at the Etihad.

City remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple and Pellegrini said ahead of the tie that he is not scared of facing Barca.

"I don't have any fear about playing Barcelona, because this team has got to continue to develop the mentality to play against important, important teams, whether that's in the last 16, the quarter-final.

"It's impossible to avoid Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich if you want to continue in the Champions League. So in one moment you must play against them. We play them in the last 16, so let's see what we can do."

Online Editors