MADRID - Barcelona are keen to avoid a
French side in the last 16 of the Champions League, coach Pep
Guardiola said on Saturday.
Friday's draw for the knockout round could pit the 2009
winners against Ligue 1 clubs Olympique Marseille or Olympique
Lyon, and Barca's potential opponents also include holders Inter
Milan, Inter's Serie A rivals AS Roma and AC Milan and Premier
League side Arsenal.
"I don't want the French in Europe," Guardiola, whose team
were knocked out in the semi-finals by Jose Mourinho's Inter
last season, was quoted as telling a news conference ahead of
Sunday's La Liga game at home to Real Sociedad.
"Marseille are a very strong team - animals, physically
speaking - and there is a lot of pressure when you play there.
They're very well prepared physically and technically. And we
all know about Lyon."
Guardiola led the Catalan club to the title in his first
season in charge in 2008/09, part of an unprecedented treble of
Champions League and Spanish league and cup.
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