"we have a lot of respect for them but we have a mission," said fc københavn winger jesper grønkjær as the group d leaders prepare to face fc barcelona at the camp nou on wednesday.
fc københavn will step out at the camp nou wearing the mantle of uefa champions league group d leaders, but the prospect of tackling fc barcelona is likely to prove a humbling experience for the danish club's winger jesper grønkjær.
few players in the københavn camp boast anything like grønkjær's european experience, yet there was a glint in his eyes as he looked forward to wednesday's game. "this is a temple for players," said the 33-year-old, whose career has taken in spells with afc ajax, chelsea fc, club atlético de madrid and vfb stuttgart.
"when we praise barcelona it's because it's true. barcelona know it's true too. they know how good they are and they always have been since the days of [johan] cruyff, and they play total football here."
grønkjær has already tasted victory at the camp nou, having featured in a 2-0 liga win for atlético in february 2005, but his respect for the catalan club could hardly be greater. "they have changed coaches and players but they are the same as when i faced them with atlético," he said. "they still play the same fast football; great teams lose at this stadium."
despite the obvious admiration, grønkjær and fck nonetheless intend to alert their hosts to their own abilities as they look to build on wins against fc rubin kazan and panathinaikos fc. "we have a lot of respect for them but we also have a mission: we want to prove that we too have quality, although we know that if they have a good day we could get hammered."
a third consecutive clean sheet in the competition would certainly aid their cause, not to mention their chances of advancing from group d in one of the top two spots. "we want to qualify and still be in the champions league after the winter, so we will try to get something from the game," said grønkjær.
the danish champions should not bank on josep guardiola's men underestimating them, however, as lionel messi insists that the three-time winners would be prepared. "this match is dangerous because our opponents are the group leaders and haven't lost," said the argentinian international. "we have to be alert and know exactly who we are facing.
"there are no surprises in the champions league," he added. "the teams in the competition are there because they deserve to be there and earned their place."
lionel messi buried a first-half cracker and doubled his tally in added time to lift his side above the beaten visitors to the group d summit.
a crashing lionel messi drive in the first half and a late second from the same player gave fc barcelona the victory over fc københavn which many expected, yet the 2-0 scoreline reflected a night of frustration and nerves.
the danish visitors showed intelligence, patience and enormous stamina to stay in a game in which they occasionally looked ready to be swamped. despite the fact that daniel alves hit a post late on, the more emblematic chance came when william kvist attempted to lob stand-in barcelona goalkeeper josé pinto from near the halfway line and almost succeeded. only when messi bundled in during added time to add to his fine opener were the points secured, lifting the hosts above fck to the group d summit.
both sides gave early indications of how the absorbing match would develop. having promised he would open the scoring, david villa took just over three minutes to come within millimetres of doing so, turning and clipping an effort onto the crossbar from messi's pass. despite andrés iniesta taking almost complete control of the direction and tempo of the match, fck proved that they had completely understood coach ståle solbakken's game plan, using every counterattack with thought, pace and confidence. it was the pattern for the entire night.
messi had already headed into the hands of goalkeeper johan wiland from close range when he thundered in the opener on 18 minutes. iniesta found an island of space in busy waters and slipped a nice pass to the argentinian international, who took his tally to 28 goals from 47 uefa champions league outings from outside the area. his 29th would follow later.
when iniesta pulled off a footballing houdini trick to escape from martin vingaard and claudemir it nearly brought the house down, but there was no second goal to put the game to bed. unsurprisingly, fck endeavoured to punish that fact as césar santin and, in particular, dame n'doye worked ceaselessly to find a surprise equaliser.
alves, messi and villa all missed chances and, almost inevitably, they were nearly caught with a sucker punch when n'doye used his power to shrug off carles puyol midway through the second half and unleash a blistering effort which beat pinto – in for the ill víctor valdés – before cannoning off the bar. santin then headed the rebound wide and alves somehow slid in a block to prevent substitute christián bolaños scoring from five metres out as the scene was set for messi to strike again.
uefa, şampiyonlar ligi'nde oynanan barcelona-copenhagen maçında ıslık çalarak rakip takımın atağını durduran barcelona'nın kalecisi jose manuel pinto'ya 2 maç men cezası verdi.
uefa'dan yapılan açıklamada, pinto'nun çaldığı ıslığın "temiz futbol ve rakibe saygıya karşı bir hareket olduğu" belirtildi.
barcelona'nın 2-0 kazandığı maçta, 26. dakikada durum 0-0 iken bir atak geliştiren copenhagen'ın brezilyalı forveti santin, çok müsait bir pozisyonda olmasına rağmen, pinto'nun ıslığını ofsayt gerekçesiyle hakem düdüğü zannederek topu bırakmıştı. pinto'nun hakem düdüğüne benzer ıslığı barcelona'daki takım arkadaşları tarafından oldukça bilinen bir şaka olmasına rağmen, uefa bunu maksadını aşan bir şaka olarak düşündü.
barcelona kulübü ise, uefa'nın pinto için verdiği 2 maç men cezasına itiraz edeceğini açıkladı.