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Mar 26, 2012

Zlatan: Time for Milan to shine in Europe

Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he and his AC Milan team-mates are "ready for Barcelona" and has demanded the Rossoneri start making a major impact on the continental stage again.

Milan welcome Barca to the San Siro on Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, with the reigning champions of Italy and Spain going toe-to-toe for the third time this season after a pair of group stage encounters.

Barca came off best from the two games last year, drawing 2-2 at Camp Nou before winning 3-2 in Milan to claim top spot in Group H, but Ibrahimovic is desperate for Massimilano Allegri's side to prove they can reclaim their place at the top of Europe's elite.

"We are ready for Barcelona," Ibrahimovic told Aftonbladet. "If we want to win international trophies then we have to start winning these types of games."

Ibrahimovic warned his team-mates against focusing all their efforts on subduing the irrepressible Lionel Messi, though, insisting that Barca are far from a one-man team.

"We have to stop Barcelona, not Messi, in the same way that Barca will have to stop Milan," Ibrahimovic said.

The Sweden international scored twice as Milan beat Roma on Sunday to stay four points clear of Juventus at the top of Serie A, while Barcelona beat Mallorca 2-0 but remain six points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

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