Manchester United Must Show Barca No Fear Says Cole
The Catalan giants, five-time European champions, travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday night for the first leg of their quarter-final tie against United.
Cole scored a memorable goal against Barcelona on the way to European glory in 1999, as United twice drew 3-3 with the Spanish club during the group stages of that year’s Champions League.
The former striker believes United should look to show similar attacking intent when they face Barcelona this time around.
“Go and do the same thing,” Cole said. “Go and enjoy it. We knew we were a very good team and Barcelona were a very good team.
“But we showed no fear there. A lot of teams go there and show a bit of fear. They had fantastic players but so did we.
“We went out there and played football. They did the same. That season both games ended up 3-3 and that told you everything about both teams.
“We were respectful but we both tried to beat each other. But six goals in each game speaks volumes about two teams trying to play attacking, attractive football.”
Bayern Munich and United progressed from the group in 1999 ahead of Barcelona, with the top two sides meeting again in the final at the Nou Camp.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored a stoppage-time winner for United after replacing Cole in the 89th minute, and the former England international insists he has never been jealous of his former team-mate.
“I’ve been asked this a few times, ‘Were you disappointed Ole scored?’ said Cole.
“Why should I be? We won the European Cup! I was fortunate to score in the semis to get us to the European Cup final. For me, it made no difference.”
United head into the match as underdogs against a Barcelona side currently 11 points clear at the top of La Liga.
However, Cole believes the team are capable of causing another upset after coming from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round.
Speaking about the draw for the quarter-finals, Cole said: “I called it beforehand.
“I said to one of the lads, ‘We’re going to get Barcelona’. It’s a strange thing, it’s fate, it’s 20 years on, and then we get Barcelona. I knew it would happen.
“Anything is possible in football matches. United have proven that against PSG and, yes, they are going to have to play extremely well because they have an impish little genius in (Lionel) Messi.
“I have watched him closely over many years and I look at him now and think he is getting better as he gets older. If he has an off night or he is injured or whatever, then you never know what can happen.”
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Adapted from Skysports