Let's hear the view of United from Catalonia

For the latest edition of Inside United magazine, we spoke to two Barcelona fans about their perception of Manchester United, previous meetings between the great clubs and the players who immediately spring to mind from this fixture. Check out what they had to say…

JOAN JOSEP BASTIDA

Why is Manchester United v Barcelona a special game?

“They are two superpowers of European football, and whenever they meet it’s always spectacular. Over recent years we have had the upper hand, but in past eras it has been more balanced. My first memory is the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup final, when Mark Hughes scored twice. I have been a Barcelona member since I was born, like my father, grandfather and now my son. But my second favourite team since I was a boy are Manchester United. I always look for their result at weekends. That is why it is always special for me when Barça meet United. And it was tough for me when Guardiola chose City and not United.”

Highlights: United v BarcelonaVideo

When you hear the name
“Manchester United”
which players spring to mind?

“Eric Cantona is the first. I loved ‘his’ United. Then others from the 1990s, Giggs, Gary Neville, Irwin, Scholes and Kanchelskis, even though Andrei isn’t spoken about as much. Plus there’s Keane, Solskjaer, Ferdinand, Rooney.”


What do you think of Old Trafford?
“I have been lucky enough to go to Old Trafford twice. The tradition of English stadiums is incredible, everyone is amazing. They enjoy football in a very different, passionate way. Some of our grounds in Spain are becoming increasingly ‘cold’.”

 
Which United players would you like to have seen in the Barcelona shirt?
“Cantona, Rooney, Ferdinand and Giggs. I know they may seem obvious candidates, but I always liked them. Not Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo, and not just because they went to Real Madrid, but because they didn’t excite me as much as the others listed.”


Which match between our teams holds the best memories?
“I recall our meeting in 1994, when Romario was up front. That was a brilliant game. And naturally the last Champions League final we played, at Wembley in 2011. That was one of Barça’s greatest performances.”
ORIOL CIVIT

Why is Manchester United v Barcelona special?

“They are very special games because they’re two of the most important clubs in Europe. History is very important in football and when big teams meet there is always a special flavour. And usually these games are at the last rounds of the Champions League, so they are very exciting… and it is very important to win.”


When you hear the name
“Manchester United”
which players spring to mind?

“David Beckham is the most iconic name from the last 30 years, and Cantona or Giggs. And I remember when Jordi Cruyff signed for United. I know him and I was happy for him. My parents have a house in a small town in the same street where the Cruyff family lives. Their main base is in Barcelona, but in weekends and summer they go to that town and I have played football with Jordi a couple of times. The other person I remember is Sir Alex Ferguson.”
What do you think of Old Trafford?
“Old Trafford is one of the great stadiums in England. But for Barcelona I don’t think it is so frightening.”


Which United players would you like to have seen in the Barcelona shirt?
“Going to back to the question before last, Beckham. In 2003, there was a chance of him joining Barcelona, but he decided to play for Real Madrid, our enemy. But he was always very polite and respectful to other teams, so I admire him. Plus he was a very great player with a magnificent right foot.”
Coming up on Monday
says

We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a member of the squad will hold a press conference at the Nou Camp from 16:15 BST, before training on the pitch from 17:00 BST.

Eyes on the opposition
says

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde and a player will hold pre-match press conferences from 14:45 BST. Our opponents will then train in front of the media from 18:00 BST.

Which match between them holds the best memories?
“There are several favourite moments between our two clubs. Obviously the two Champions League finals will live long in my memory. In both games Barcelona won and lifted the trophy, after playing really well and dominating. Especially in 2011, one of the greatest Champions League final performances. Also, I remember the 4-0 game at the Nou Camp in 1994, with two goals by  Romario and two from Stoichkov. I was at the stadium!”

These interviews were first printed within the May 2019 edition of Inside United magazine, which is available to order online.

 

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