Even after two painful losses, Wayne Rooney is still a class act when it comes to Barcelona.
The Manchester United star and captain is getting ready to face the team that beat him twice on Champions League Finals, this time in a friendly on Saturday night in Santa Clara, which continues the United States preseason tournament that involves both teams.
The Red Devils' skipper talked to ESPN FC to remember his games against the Blaugrana, mainly the two losses in 2009 and 2011 against the unforgettable Pep Guardiola teams. He also commented on the current Barça roster, and after watching the Catalan giants dominate their way into a Treble, Rooney thinks that this is as good of a squad as the Pep Guardiola teams. High praise.
Here's some of the quotes:
"Barcelona are a fantastic team and, after Real Madrid winning the Champions League [in 2014], they wouldn't have liked that and they've come out again and been incredible really, probably as good as they have been over the last 10 years, I believe.
"It's a different way of playing -- they're defending a little bit deeper and not going and closing down teams the way they did and they're hurting teams on the counter-attack.
"You can see there's a change in the way they play but, with the players they have got, obviously [Lionel] Messi, Neymar and [Luis] Suarez, they are a massive threat to anyone."
"You're so close to winning it and to lose twice to Barcelona is hard to take really. I think you sometimes have to hold your hands up and say they were the better team -- the best team in Europe -- and it was going to be difficult for us to win the game. I'd say probably the game at Wembley, being there, it would have been nice to have won the Champions League there."