Manchester United’s upcoming Champions League clash with Juventus promises to be a “special” occasion, says Ander Herrera, with Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo preparing for emotional reunions with familiar faces.
The Red Devils have been placed in Group H alongside the current Serie A title holders.
Their paths are set to cross for the first time on October 23, as the Bianconeri visit Old Trafford, with a return date in Turin pencilled in for November 7.
Back-to-back European clashes between two continental heavyweights promise to produce fireworks, with there plenty of intriguing subplots to the fixtures as global superstars return to former stomping grounds.
United midfielder Herrera told the club’s official website on two eagerly-anticipated matches: “He [Ronaldo] came back with Real Madrid and I think our fans still love him, what he did for the club was great. But I hope he enjoys it only before the game!
“It will be very special for Paul to go back to Italy, to Turin. He went there as a kid and he became a man there and then he came back home.
“I think the fans still love him as well and they will give him a very warm reception. But let’s focus on the game as it will be special.”
Herrera added: “It’s a big challenge for us but I’m happy with the group because I think we perform better against top teams and Juventus is the biggest club in Italy.
“They have done amazing in the last few years, it looks like they have a very strong club – the connection between the players, the manager and the fans is great.
“So I think it’s going to be interesting for all our fans and for Paul it will be special and for Cristiano Ronaldo too. It’ll be a good game to play.”
Before facing Juventus, United have Champions League games with Young Boys and Valencia to contend with.
It is, however, meetings with the Bianconeri that continue to whet the appetite, with Herrera conceding that the Italian giants pose a significant threat to Jose Mourinho’s side and their European aspirations.
The Spain international added: “Nowadays [with Juve] it’s not only about the defence, I think they are very strong also in attack. They are a very balanced team, very experienced and they have great players, and they have done really well in the last few years.
“Milan used to be there fighting with them for the titles, Inter as well, but Juve have been almost unstoppable in the last few years so congratulations to them, but we will try to beat them and I think it’s a very good challenge for us.”