Juliano Belletti claims Barcelona’s 2006 Champions League success was a greater achievement than those being set by Luis Enrique’s all-conquering side.
Belletti scored the winner in Paris as Barca came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 in what was his only goal for the club in a three-year spell at Camp Nou.
The teams meet again at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday in the first leg of their round of 16 tie with Barcelona overwhelming favourites to progress and extend their 32-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Luis Enrique’s men continue to set the standard in world football having won the FIFA Club World Cup in 2015 as well as a Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble, led by their formidable attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
But while Belletti is a big fan of the current Barca side, he insists the club’s title success almost 10 years ago is worthy of special mention.
He told Omnisport: “In terms of numbers, results and data, the current Barca team is better than the 2006 side. But I value our achievement more because of our rivals at the time: AC Milan with Andriy Shevchenko, Kaka and Paolo Maldini; Chelsea in Mourinho’s first spell; Real Madrid and their Galacticos, with the best players in the world playing there.
“Our team was not the favourite against those teams but we overcame that.
“It’s the opposite for Barca’s team today, or Guardiola’s Bayern Munich, as they have won titles while being favourites.
“I couldn’t tell you who would win if that Barca faced today’s team. We had Ronaldinho and Deco who used to do magic on the pitch.
“Everyone who saw that team loved it, just as they do with Guardiola’s Bayern or today’s Barca side with that trio in attack. Their offensive style is really nice to watch.”
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