Massimiliano Allegri promised AC Milan will be at their best for their games against FC Barcelona, with FC BATE Borisov and FC Viktoria Plzeň overjoyed to have drawn such huge sides.
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FC Barcelona and AC Milan are preparing for their 12th and 13th meetings in UEFA club competition after being drawn together in UEFA Champions League Group H, Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri noting: "I'm sure we will be at our very best when we face them." FC BATE Borisov and FC Viktoria Plzeň, meanwhile, are honoured to be taking on two of the biggest names in European football this autumn.
Andoni Zubizarreta, Barcelona sporting director
You always have to come up against one big team and Milan are like an old friends we have been through a lot with. It means [Zlatan] Ibrahimović coming back to our stadium along with a lot of other great players.
All of our rivals in the group deserve our full attention; none of them will be giving anything away. They are here on merit and I am sure we will learn a lot from the players we will face.
Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan coach
We got the strongest team of all but there are two other teams that we should be able to beat in our group. Honestly, qualification is within our reach in this group. The games against Barcelona are always fascinating ones; we do all we can to be ready for them. A match like that can give the team great motivation. I'm sure we will be at our very best when we face them.
Filipp Rudik, BATE midfielder
I wanted to face Barcelona and all my friends asked me to bring them to Belarus. Here you are! I was a bit nervous when there were just two balls left. I wanted Ruud Gullit to draw us last and I was lucky. I was thinking of Barcelona even before the Sturm match. Viktoria are also strong opponents as they beat København, but we have our Mario Simić. Will he score against Barcelona? Let's see if we can get the ball into their half first. We have already discussed our tactics for when we play them; we'll kick the ball out of play and hope for the best.
Pavel Horváth, Plzeň captain
This is a fantastic draw. I am as excited as I was just after Wednesday's game. I played a friendly against Barcelona during my time at Sporting [Clube de Portugal]. Playing against them and AC Milan in the Champions League is the adventure of a lifetime for all of us, whatever the result. It is a reward for our success in the preliminary rounds. We have nothing to lose. I hope we can fight with BATE for third place.