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Feb 19, 2013

Zambrotta expects Barca to beat Milan

Former AC Milan and Barcelona full-back Gianluca Zambrotta says the Blaugrana are better placed to progress from their Champions League tie.

• Blog: Milan must play without fear
• Blog: Barca dreams start at San Siro

Ahead of Wednesday's first leg at San Siro, Zambrotta told El Mundo Deportivo that Barca were strong favourites to make it through to the quarter-finals.

"It will be difficult for Milan," he said. "Barcelona are the best team in the world. You never know, but it will be tough for [Milan]."

The 35-year-old, who was one of several senior players released by Milan in the summer of 2012, said the current Rossoneri line-up lacks Champions League experience but does have some quality players.

"They are a fragile team, without much experience in Europe," he said. "Their dangermen are [Stephan] El Shaarawy and [Riccardo] Montolivo."

Zambrotta, currently doing his coaching badges in Italy, visited his former Barcelona team-mates in Catalonia this week. He said that even though his two seasons at the Camp Nou brought just one trophy, the Spanish Supercopa, it had nevertheless been a footballing education.

"We had a spectacular team, with [Thierry] Henry, Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta," he said. "[Former Barcelona coach Frank] Rijkaard showed me a totally new way of playing football. When I arrived, I was also stuck in the middle of the 'rondos'. Even [goalkeeper Victor] Valdes was better than me with his feet. Here I learned how to play football better."

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