MILAN - Massimiliano Allegri could not deny his side would have preferred a more benign Champions League quarterfinal draw than the one that pitted them against the team he decribed as “the best in the world” on Friday.
However, having seen the Rossoneri give a good account of themselves against Barcelona already this season, the AC Milan coach remains upbeat about the last-eight tie.
“Those two games have boosted our confidence,” he said on Uefa.com. “Milan always play their best in these kind of matches.”
Having played Barcelona twice in the autumn group stage, drawing 2-2 in Spain before losing 3-2 in Italy, Milan must try and succeed where they failed over the two legs of this quarterfinal.
Allegri, though, sounds an optimistic note about the prospect of another duel with the European champions. “Let’s focus on the positives,” said the 44-year-old.
“If we get through this quarterfinal, I think we will have a great chance of reaching the final with Barcelona out of the picture.
“We have faced them twice this term,” continued Allegri, whose side play the home leg on 28 March before the return in Spain on 3 April.
Allegri adds that the Azulgrana represent no less onerous an assignment than other draws might have done, while eliminating Josep Guardiola’s men would also smooth their route to the 19 May final – a successful semifinal against Benfica or Chelsea permitting.