Arrigo Sacchi believes that Real Madrid and Milan have helped each other in unsettling an ‘exhausted’ Barcelona in recent weeks.
The Rossoneri defeated the Catalans 2-0 in the Champions League Last 16 first leg, ahead of Madrid recording back-to-back wins over them in the Spanish Cup and League.
It is a run of results that, with the Italians now facing Barca in the return leg of their European fixture, former Milan Coach Sacchi believes can be extended, thanks to Los Blancos.
“I spoke to Mourinho after he won against them and he said that Milan [defeating Barca] had helped,” the retired Italian tactician told Onda Cero.
“But perhaps now it is Madrid that are helping Milan. I sent a message congratulating him but I told him that Milan had helped him, that they had laid the foundation stone on Barcelona.
“Now Madrid have beaten them twice, they are equally helping us.”
The former Madrid director of football was asked for his view on why Barcelona are enduring such a slump in form.
“They have always suffered with Italian teams. Now the feeling is that Barca are exhausted, they have lost a bit of their strength, confidence and enthusiasm.
“I do not know what will happen.
“I believe that Milan must repeat the first leg match. They must be without fear, with respect to Barcelona, but also with respect for their own game, their tactics, remembering that they cannot close up and think only of defending.
“The best defence is a counter-attack to harm the opponent.
“In football, you cannot always win, but Barca are not yet out. They will try for the comeback. It must be a battle of good standard.
“Milan are great. They have a team in form, they are improving a lot. They began their season very badly, but much as changed. Now they are not only winning but they are playing better football.”