Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea admits they would’ve preferred to have avoided Barcelona for their Europa League playoff draw.
Barcelona are the second favourites behind Arsenal to win the Europa League this season and they were considered the most difficult opponents to draw in the Round of 32, which De Gea was asked about following the confirmation of the fixture.
De Gea admitted United didn’t want to draw Barcelona but said Erik ten Hag’s side will be ready for the challenge in February.
“We know Barcelona is a great team, I think they are playing well,” De Gea told club media. “Of course, it was one of the teams that we probably didn’t want to play against but if you want to win the Europa League, you have to play against the best teams and Barcelona is [one of these]. It’s one for the fans and we will try our best to win both games.
“Yeah, I think so [it’s a good test]. There’s still a lot of time [before we have] to play the Europa League games so we have to be focused on the rest of the games [before then]. Of course, playing against the best teams is always a challenge.
“So we need to be very ready to play against Barcelona and to play against any team that we have to play against.”