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Feb 16, 2011

Villa: Barcelona must stop Fabregas

David Villa says that Barcelona must keep transfer-target Cesc Fabregas quiet as the Spanish side travel to Arsenal in the Champions League.

• Barca praise for Gunners
Nasri passed fit to play
Arsenal v Barcelona preview
Chamakh hails Van Persie
• Forum: Can Arsenal match Barca?

Fabregas has been the centre of transfer interest from Barcelona, but stayed at the Emirates over the summer and is expected to be the subject of another bid once the current season ends.

The midfielder has never hidden his admiration for the club who took him on as a youngster, and now faces Barcelona in the last-16, looking to do better than last season when Lionel Messi's four goals put paid to the Gunners' chances of progression.

Now Villa claims that, if Barcelona want to repeat their success over Fabregas' side, they must stop the Spanish playmaker.

"Cesc Fabregas is a worldwide star," Villa said. "I am a lover of his game and I sincerely have belief in his presence at our club. Cesc is a player able to succeed at any club in the world. I understand Arsenal's position but it would be sensational if he is with us for the next campaign.

"We need to stop Cesc. At this moment he is thinking only about Arsenal and is looking to defeat us. He is a super professional."

Villa accepts that Fabregas is not the only concern and thinks that Barcelona can make life easier for themselves if they can pick up a vital away goal.

"Cesc is not the only key for the Gunners. [Robin] Van Persie has rediscovered his level in attack and our defenders must be very focused," said Villa. ''The key to this match will be containing Arsenal's attack and profiting from our own chances to score goals. We need to score to increase our options for the second match.

"This tie will not be easy. Today Barcelona and Arsenal play the best game in Europe because it will be beautiful for the spectator. My dream is to win the Champions League. The media makes us favourites but footballers can only think from match to match."

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