Porto show no fear ahead of United showdown
FC Porto skipper Lucho Gonzalez is not scared by Manchester United's reputation as the Portuguese champions look to dump the Champions League holders out of this season's competition.
After a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford last week, Porto know a repeat of the goalless stalemate they achieved with Atletico Madrid in the first knockout round would be enough to eliminate Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
But, with Rio Ferdinand back from a groin injury, United should be a much tighter unit in defence and therefore pose more of a threat in attack.
Lucho remains unmoved, even though in Cristiano Ronaldo, he feels the Red Devils have the best player in the world at present.
"Ronaldo is probably the number one player just now, but they are all at Manchester United for a reason, that is why they are the best in the world,'' he said.
"But such things don't mean anything to me. I don't know if United can play any better than they did last week but I will try to make sure they don't.''
Coach Jesualdo Ferreira is equally defiant in the face of United's supposed strength.
He knows history is on Porto's side given they have never lost a European home game against an English club and that United went out from this position in the 2002 semi-finals when they lost on away goals to Bayer Leverkusen.
"There is no way I would swap places,'' said Ferreira, when asked if he would like to be in Ferguson's shoes.
"I like my team and I don't feel any pressure. We need to control the game and to do that, we need to control our emotions.
"Manchester United are the best team in the world. But last week we proved they were only human and we aim to do the same again.''
Porto certainly caught the Red Devils off guard last week with their flying start, which might have had the entire tie wrapped up if they had been able to take their chances and not gifted Wayne Rooney an equaliser.
Ferreira cannot promise an exact repeat. But he assured Ferguson his team will not be playing for a goalless draw that would take them through, as it did in the previous round against Atletico.
"We will not change, no matter what the circumstance,'' said Ferreira. "There is no other way for us to play than how we did last week. And I would never tell my team to operate below capacity just to achieve a draw.''