The Brazilian defender claims that Manuel Pellegrini's side would have preferred to dodge the Catalans in the last 16 of the Champions LeagueEXCLUSIVE
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
Dani Alves believes Barcelona have nothing to be afraid of in their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City and claims Manuel Pellegrini's side would not have wanted to face the Catalans so early on in the competition.
Alves, a Champions League winner with Barca in 2009 and 2011, has also played in semi-final defeats to Inter, Chelsea and Bayern Munich in 2010, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
This season is the first of those in which the Catalan club are not favourites to win the continental competition, while local media and even some of the players admitted prior to the draw for the last 16 that they had hoped to avoid City.
"That's the beautiful thing about football - it throws up situations like these," Alves told Goal. "It gives you the chance to show what you're capable of.
"And while some didn't want to play against City, I am sure that many at City didn't want to face Barca. So we're even on that. Now we have to make sure things go our way on the pitch."
The 30-year-old, who was recently voted by fellow professionals into the FIFPro World XI for 2013, says Barca are up to the challenge.
"This team has won everything," he said. "We have won so much. Football throws up great challenges like this and those who are not ready for them fall by the wayside.
"We are going to go out there to compete, to play our best, and whoever deserves to go through will make it to the next round. Let's hope it's us.
"In the Champions League, you always have to beat the best anyway."