Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eagerly awaiting Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona.
The two sides were pitted against one another in Friday’s draw, and Solskjaer is keen for his side to pit their wits against the Catalan giants.
Per Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail, the Norwegian said:
“It’s these games our fans and this club crave. We’re looking forward to this one. We had the final against them in 2009 and 2011 and the semi-final in 2008 when [Paul Scholes] scored.
“We want these games against the biggest clubs. We’ve shown against PSG we can beat a top team. We can go all the way, but you’ve got to be lucky and good along the way. The confidence in the players, it’s sky high.”
The former United No. 20 is at the helm of the Red Devils, 20 years after he scored an injury-time winner to beat Bayern Munich at Barca’s Camp Nou stadium to win the Champions League and complete the treble in 1999.
Solskjaer felt it was fitting to have drawn Barcelona in light of that history:
Manchester United @ManUtd
Find us a man more excited for our #UCL quarter-final with Barcelona than Ole! 🤩
Click below for his full #UCLdraw reaction 👇
“It was the biggest night I’ve had in football,” he added. “Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night. It’s a great stadium and, of course, we met them in the group stages as well that year—3-3 each both home and away. It’ll be a good game.”
The two sides have produced some classic encounters over the years:
UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague
😎 Messi, Scholes, Rivaldo, Beckham…
😍 Manchester United v Barcelona = a classic #UCL tie 🔥
Unfortunately for United, those meetings typically haven’t gone their way:
1 – Manchester United have won just one of their eight European Cup/Champions League meetings with Barcelona (D4 L3), losing both of their last two encounters in the 2009 and 2011 finals. Daunting. https://t.co/62Nrv2z4nI
Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News believes the Red Devils should take inspiration from their history with their opponents, though:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Robson, Rotterdam, The 3-3s, Scholes and the Guardiola finals. History galore between United and Barcelona. Think #mufc should relish that, despite the daunting prospect of facing Messi.
Solskjaer is evidently relishing the upcoming clash, and that confidence could translate to his players as his positivity did ahead of the second leg of their last-16 tie with Paris Saint-Germain, despite them being 2-0 down from the opening leg.
Barcelona, who won the Champions League most recently in 2015, will be the favourites against a United side that haven’t reached the final four since their run to the final in 2011.
The Red Devils showed against PSG they’re to be taken seriously, though, so they should not be ruled out.