The Argentina international spoke highly of his side's Champions League opponents ahead of their clash in Lisbon and warned that a tough match awaits the Blaugrana in Portugal.
The versatile 28-year-old warned that Barcelona's opponents will be tough to beat at home and insisted his team is not distracted by the Clasico on Saturday.
"I have a lot of respect for Benfica, because I’ve had a first hand experience of what it’s like to suffer here," the Argentine told Barcelona's official website. “I know how difficult it is to come to this stadium and secure a good result.
"Both matches [against Benfica and Real Madrid] are important, but the match against Benfica is more important because we have to face them sooner. We’ll have enough time to focus on the Clasico."