Arsenal’s win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage proves they can knock out holders Barcelona, according to Hector Bellerin.
Arsene Wenger’s side inflicted a surprise defeat on Pep Guardiola’s Bundesliga champions in October, Bellerin providing the assist for Mesut Ozil’s goal in a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners went on to suffer a 5-1 defeat in the reverse fixture in Germany but still scraped into the last 16, where they were paired with last season’s winners.
But according to Bellerin – a product of Barca’s youth academy – Arsenal believe in their chances against Luis Enrique’s La Liga leaders.
“I played for Barcelona for eight years, so it’s a massive thing for me and my family, who have been watching me since I was young,” he told Amuse.
“The day the draw was announced I started getting texts and calls from everyone. It’s crazy how a game moves so many people. We’re very excited – it’s going to be a hard game, but if we did it against Bayern, then we can do it against Barcelona. We have a great team mentality and our confidence is very high, so we fancy anyone at the moment.”
Bellerin will likely be tasked with stopping Barca star Neymar during the tie, but the 20-year-old has named another Brazilian as the most daunting opponent he has faced.
“Probably Douglas Costa,” he replied, when asked who has given him the toughest test in senior football.
“You make mistakes in a game, but if you come away with a win, that’s all gone. The result is all that matters, and we won that game,” he added, referring to the upset victory over Bayern.
Arsenal host Barca in the first leg on February 23 before the return at Camp Nou on March 9.