Samir Nasri believes Barcelona come up short in a comparison with Bayern Munich and declared that the reigning European champions are finest side Manchester City have encountered.
The France international came off the bench in City’s 2-0 defeat against Barca on Tuesday but he feels his side can still win the second leg on March 12 and progress to the last eight of the Champions League for the first time.
Bayern Munich also won at the Etihad Stadium, 3-1 in the group stage in October, and Nasri is convinced Pep Guardiola’s current team are superior to his former side.
He told national newspapers: “Are Barca the best team we have faced? No, I don’t think they are. Bayern are the best team we played. Against Bayern, for 60 minutes, we did not touch the ball. They are the best team, Barcelona are not.”
City were holding Barcelona until referee Jonas Eriksson sent off Martin Demichelis and awarded a spot kick that Lionel Messi converted, whereas Bayern had dominated from the start at the Etihad Stadium.
Nasri added: “If it was not for the penalty, it was 0-0, but Bayern was not the same. We did not touch the ball and they scored goals without a mistake from anyone. They showed us how great they were.”
The former Arsenal midfielder is convinced City have the attacking ability to overturn the two-goal deficit at the Camp Nou.
He added: “Everything is possible -- [winning] 3-1? We can do it. When you play like this, you have to believe. We have quality.
“Barcelona do not like to be attacked. They like to have the ball, to be in control, they do not like to defend. They are not used to defending, so when you have got the ball you attack them, you make them run. They do not like that.”
Nasri takes heart from Valencia’s 3-2 victory at the Nou Camp in February and believes City need to be as fearless.
He said: “We can do what Valencia and beat them at home. I watch every game and I saw Valencia beat Barcelona in the Nou Camp. They played without fear.
“I saw Sofiane Feghouli on the right, he just went on and on and on, and he made the difference. Pablo Piatti, who is 1.64 metres [5ft 4in], scored with a header.
“They played without fear and that is what we need to do. We have to gamble, try to play and attack them. We will fight until the end.”