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Robin Van Persie Would 'Love' To Face Barcelona Or Real Madrid In Last 16 Of Champions League

Robin van Persie believes Arsenal have what it takes to end their five-year trophy drought after their 3-1 win against Partizan Belgrade secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League for the 11th consecutive season.

The north London club sealed qualification thanks to a penalty from Van Persie and second half  goals from Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri.

Previous poor results mean Arsene Wenger’s side finished second in the group and could be drawn against the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich when the draw is made a week on Friday.

The Gunners' striker now wants his side to back up their belief and bring home a trophy.

He said: “We have to believe [we can win].  

“Everything starts with belief and if you don’t believe you might as well not play football.

“We do believe we can achieve things this season but know we have to do it.”

Despite the resounding scoreline the Premier League leaders were edgy throughout against Partizan but van Persie’s first goal since May settled the nerves at the Emirates Stadium.

He added: “The goal means a lot but to go through means more. The pressure was on today.

“It felt like it because they played well. They handled the passing game which they do well.

“It was a good Partizan team today but we managed to overcome them.

“We had to go in behind a bit more especially when Theo [Walcott] came on because we know he can make a difference.”

The Dutch international’s season has been blighted with injury so far but he believes his problems are now behind him.

He said: “Hopefully [they are behind me]. I am working hard in training and this was my first full game this season so hopefully.”

Despite the prospect of facing either Real Madrid or Barcelona in the last 16, Van Persie is not worried and admits he would "love" to be involved in a game against either of the La Liga giants.

He added: “As a football fan I would love to see a game and be involved in a game against Real Madrid or Barcelona.”


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