Weghorst: Only winning counts
Wout Weghorst is excited for his first visit to the Nou Camp, but the Netherlands international says all that really matters to him and Manchester United is winning.
The Reds take on Barcelona in the opening leg of our Europa League play-off tie this evening (17:45 GMT kick-off).
The two sides are in great form domestically, with Barcelona leading La Liga by 11 points and United still competing in the league and all three cups, having lost just once since the season resumed after the World Cup.
Weghorst, who is in line to make his European debut for Erik ten Hag’s men after joining on loan last month, is relishing the opportunity to test himself against a backline which has shipped just one goal at home in the league all season.
“Yeah, of course it’s a great challenge for us,” Wout told us in an exclusive interview earlier this week.
“Of course the two matches with Barcelona are great, but at the end it’s about winning and it’s about the trophies. It doesn’t matter which club, or which stadium, wherever you’re going to play.
“We’re still active in four competitions and we want to keep playing in them. That’s why there’s only one thing that’s counting and that’s winning these days.
“On Thursday in the Nou Camp though, yeah that’s a big one.”
Barcelona and United have met 13 times previously, a back catalogue which includes three European finals, a pair of Champions League semis and some of Old Trafford’s most thrilling nights.
Wout is aware of the classic matches shared by two of the continent’s most revered names and, on his maiden trip to Barca’s famous stadium, is keen to make his mark on this fixture.
“You know the history a little bit and you look into it,” he added. “You see a few clips coming past you but no, [they are] two really big clubs.
“For me, to be honest actually it’s the two biggest clubs in the world.
“It’s a great experience, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the first time for me personally to be in the Nou Camp, I’ve never been there.
“I’ve always said I only want to go there if I’m capable to play. Now I can play, so let’s get a win there.”
We give you two classic Barcelona stars, you pick which you’d have loved to have seen at United… 💭
While the likes of Ajax, Arsenal, Juventus and Sevilla are all still in the competition, many feel Barca v United would be a worthy final.
And Weghorst feels the winners of this tie will be laying down a huge marker.
“Yeah, we have to see it as a final.
“Still in the competition now we are two teams that really have the chance to win the trophy.
“It’s quite early in the competition but like I said, we have to see it as a final but if we win this one we’ve got a good chance.”