Manchester United’s powerful midfielder Anderson says concentration and enjoyment will be the key to bettering Spanish champions Real Madrid in tonight’s Champions League tie.
United arrived in Spain on Tuesday ahead of the highly anticipated contest between the Reds and the Spanish champions and while the Brazilian says that the squad are fully prepared and focused ahead of their last 16 tie, he insists it is critical that United’s players enjoy themselves.
He said: “These are the games that you want to play in. We know we have to be very focused but it’s also important to enjoy games like this.
“It will be a hard game. Of course, Madrid are a big team, but we are a big team too, with quality and experienced players. We are playing well and looking forward to it.
“Concentration is going to be very important. Everyone knows it’s not a normal game – it’s a big match – but you have to try and play your normal football and work hard together as a team.”
“Hopefully we can come back with a good result and finish the job at Old Trafford.”
Fun-loving Anderson, who was recently pictured with ex-teammate Ji-Sung Park, also spoke of a reunion with former United cult-hero Cristiano Ronaldo, a story which has dominated the media coverage in the build-up to the tie.
“I talk a lot with Cristiano, but not just him. Pepe is my friend too, we played in Portugal together. We are all great friends, but when you step out on the pitch, no-one is friends because we all want to win!”
It may be down to another Brazilian, the in-form Rafael Da Silva, as to whether Ronaldo’s first reunion with his former employers is a successful one. Much is expected of the match as tension and anticipation reaches a fever-pitch. It should be a fantastic occasion as the two teams face each other for the first time since 2003.