‘Milan to be respected’

Barcelona Vice-President Josep Maria Bartomeu has reflected that Champions League opponents Milan must be taken seriously.

The Rossoneri have been drawn as Barca’s Last 16 opponents in the Champions League, but are much-changed from the team that played the Catalans in the group stages and quarter-finals of last season’s competition.

Even with the Italians sitting seventh in Serie A, Barcelona will be treating them with the same level of caution as they did last year, reflected Bartomeu.

“Milan are one of the biggest teams in Europe and a club that must be respected,” the Vice-President told reporters in reaction to the draw in Nyon.

“They are not doing well in their League at the moment, but they have impressive players. We will have a lot of respect and will try to go into that tie in good shape.

“They are not at their best but football changes from week to week. Theirs is a name that frightens, but we will go there with the highest aspirations.”

Bartomeu was asked for an update on Tito Vilanova’s condition. Following yesterday’s confirmation that he has suffered a relapse, the Coach was due for surgery early this morning.

“There is no news, we all wish him luck. We have maximum support for him and his family and respect their privacy.

“We will provide encouragement from everyone, and slowly. As long as it takes for him to recover.”

Tags Bartomeu Milan Vilanova