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Pedro says Manchester City match is biggest of Barcelona’s season

Feb 18, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

Real Sociedad v Barcelona - Copa del Rey: Semi Final Second Leg Getty Images

Barcelona forward Pedro claims today’s Champions League match at Manchester City is the most important so far this season.

Pedro, who’s expected to feature in today’s clash at the Etihad, admits that the Citizens would not have been the Blaugrana’s first choice opponents in the Round of 16 but that you need to beat the big teams to win European club football’s most prestigious tournament.

“Really we would have preferred another rival in the draw,” he said, “but if Barcelona dreams of the final in Lisbon, it is obligatory to beat the big rivals – and City is on that list.

“We always play to our maximum level but perhaps this week we are looking at the most important match of the season. Manchester City is a tough rival in its own stadium but we are prepared to play in these venues. I like the atmosphere in England. For me, it is an example for other leagues.”

Despite the tie being decided at the Nou Camp, Pedro explained that posturing would not be a part of Barcelona’s match plan. “Normally this round will be resolved in the Nou Camp, but we want a good score in England,” he added. “Not only a goal, but a match of quality.”

A match of quality is exactly what the fans crave. With many questioning the strength of this Barcelona side compared to teams of past years, and with this being City’s first dip into the Champions League Round of 16, what’s in store between these two sides is anyone’s guess.