Rafael van der Vaart says we've got the draw he was hoping for against former club Real Madrid – who he describes as ‘the biggest club in the world’.
We travel to the Bernabeu for the first leg of our Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday April 5, and the Dutchman is relishing his return to the Spanish capital.
It was from Real that Rafa arrived at the Lane on deadline day of the summer transfer window having spent the previous two seasons with the La Liga giants – the most successful team in European history with nine trophies to their name.
And he has promised his current team-mates the experience of a lifetime when we take on Jose Mourinho’s men over two legs.
Following the draw being made on Friday morning, Rafa said: “I was happy when the draw was made. I had hoped this would happen because it will be fantastic to go back to Madrid.
“I have a lot of friends there and it will be great to see them all. It’s a big game, first leg away which is good for us, so I’m happy.
“For me, it’s the biggest club in the world. Of course Barcelona are the best team in the world at this moment but you can feel the history and how big the club is when you arrive at the stadium.
“The Bernabeu is fantastic. It’s a great pitch, the stadium holds 90,000 and it’s a fantastic feeling to play there. I played there for two years and had a great time there, so it’s a dream to be going back.”
And Rafa believes we can do it, adding: “We don’t have pressure, we can play our game and we have a chance I’m sure.”