The superlatives flowed as FC Viktoria Plzeň's Václav Pilař discussed Daniel Alves and his hero Lionel Messi; for FC Barcelona's Andrés Iniesta the Czech side deserve their own plaudits.
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FC Viktoria Plzeň midfielder Václav Pilař admitted he was in awe if not overwhelmed by FC Barcelona on Wednesday, saying the experience of rubbing shoulders with the ethereal Lionel Messi was "like a movie". The Czech outfit restricted the UEFA Champions League holders to a 2-0 win in Group H and Andrés Iniesta, who continued his comeback after a hamstring problem with the opening goal, is not anticipating an easy ride when the sides meet again in a fortnight.
Václav Pilař, Plzeň midfielder
Barcelona played as they always do – I don't think they ever digress. They had plenty of opportunities to score more but at the end the fact they only managed two indicates that we defended quite well. For me, playing against Dani Alves was an experience because he's a tremendous footballer who keeps things simple and passes constantly. Non-stop short, sharp passes – and he's very fast. But I enjoyed it.
Leo Messi is like a god to me, I've always admired him. I seek out everything he does and watch videos of him on YouTube. It's fantastic to watch him because he plays so beautifully. To be this close to him, playing against him and his team-mates, we felt like we were in a movie.
Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona midfielder
At 1-0 up we went in search of the second, which would have made the night easier and allowed us to relax a little. We wanted to remove hope of Viktoria equalising as quickly as possible because we know that any individual chance can be converted.
We expended a lot of effort to get that decisive second and we certainly created enough chances to merit another goal. Perhaps it's the result more than the scoreline we should be happy with.
On Saturday [against Racing] I was feeling good about my game after [a month] out and tonight I felt just that little bit better. You try to improve with each passing game after being out and if things come off for you, as they did tonight, you can play close to the opposition area, pass the ball about and try to open up the defence.
Today we saw that the return in the Czech Republic will be anything but easy. Physically they are strong opponents, they like to attack and although winning over there might be difficult it's important we get them as three points will pretty much see us through.
David Villa, Barcelona forward
It cost us a lot to close out this game. We had possession and a lot of chances but were not as assertive in front of goal as we have been. Our main goalscorer is Lionel Messi but the second line of attackers also have to get on the scoresheet. We could have scored another tonight.
David Limberský, Plzeň defender
We tried to play on counterattack in the first half, but we did not have enough of the ball, which was frustrating. We have seen them many times on TV, and they are a superb combination – it is very difficult to defend against them. The 2-0 defeat is still a positive result for us.