Xavi Hernandez admits Man United are as tough as it could've got for Barcelona in the Europa League

Barcelona face Manchester United in the Europa League knockout play-off in what manager Xavi Hernandez described as the toughest draw possible for the Catalan Giants.

After failing to beat Inter Milan in their two matches in the group stage, Barcelona must now face an inform and best-resourced Manchester United side in the Europa League play-off round.

"The draw has given us the most difficult tie, again," Xavi said. "Manchester United are a great rival, the worst that we could face.

"We will have to compete very well, they have improved a lot since the arrival of Ten Hag, they are fifth in the table."

In 2019, Barcelona beat United 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals of the Champions league and the previous two times they played was in 2009 and 2011 when Xavi played against them in the finals, winning those matches 2-1 and 3-1 respectively.

Xavi added that having never won the Europa League title before, they were fully-focused on lifting it this year.

"You really like these terms, in the press. Failure, obligation," Xavi said.

"It's a challenge, the club has never won the Europa League and we're going to go for it," he added.

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