Cesc Fabregas is certain Arsenal can beat any of the other seven clubs in Friday’s Champions League draw.
Of course the Gunners booked their place in the last eight in the most dramatic fashion, beating Roma 7-6 on penalties after a nervy 1-0 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.
And, after more than three months out with medial knee ligament damage, Fabregas looks likely to be back in first-team action after the international break. That means he could feature in the Champions League Quarter-Final first leg, scheduled for April 7 or 8.
The captain believes his side are in the draw on merit alone, and is confident of further progression whoever the opponent.
“We know it will be tough in the next round, but we also know we can beat any one of them,” Fabregas told the Official Matchday Programme. “Let's see what the draw brings.
“We are in the Quarter-Finals, among the eight best teams in Europe, and we are there on merit. We deserve to be there, and it's serious now. If you want to win this competition you have to beat the best players in the world and now is that time.
“In the first knockout round there are still one or two teams that are not that powerful, but in the Quarter-Finals only the best eight teams are there.
“We are looking forward to that. We have already played against six of the seven other teams left in the Champions League during my time at the Club. Manchester United are the only team we haven't faced before in Europe.”
This interview first appeared in the matchday programme. You can subscribe to the Matchday Programme by calling 08700 20 20 20.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Mar 2009