Valencia CF vs Manchester United

Dec, 12 / 21:00 Matchday 6

Actualidad del Valencia C.F.
February, 05 2018

Adrian Ilie: "This Valencia CF side can beat FC Barcelona"

The former VCF striker thinks that the players themselves, a good coach and the atmospere at Mestalla can combine to winning effect

Adrian Ilie knows what it means to beat FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, to play in the final and to win a trophy. The Romanian international lifted some silverware with Valencia CF in the 1998/99 season, after beating the same rival in the quarter finals that the club are facing this Thursday. The former VCF striker told valenciacf.com that “this team has the ability to beat FC Barcelona. There is a very good team there, a good coach and playing at Mestalla is very important. I know the Valencia fans very well and I am sure that they are going to cheer on the players from the first second of the game to help them reach the final.”

In the 1990s, Valencia CF beat Barcelona at Camp Nou 3-2, with goals from Claudio Lopez and Gaizka Mendieta, before winning at Mestalla courtesy of a thrilling 4-3 scoreline where Mendieta, Piojo and Miguel Angel Angulo struck. “They were two important games where the team played brilliantly. It was more or less in this season where Valencia CF knew how to defend well and to play quickly on the counter. We were very good at this.”

Ilie recalls that it “wasn’t easy to play against Barca and beat them, but Valencia CF can do it because they have very good players. Firstly, they have to be very solid in defence and look for counter attacks, as we did in that clash. The atmosphere in Mestalla will be extraordinary and with everyone sticking together they can have a great night.”

The former Romania international, who played 115 games and scored 39 goals in the white and black shirt of Valencia CF, watched the recent game against Real Madrid at Mestalla from the stands. “Valencia CF didn’t deserve to lose, not least by such a big scoreline. I liked seeing the fans offering the team great support in key moments again. When it was 1-2 and the equaliser looked to be close, they just couldn’t find it. This Thursday, against FC Barcelona, I am sure that they will have more chances to score and they have to make the most of them. It is going be a great game, without doubt.”

For Adrian, this competition “is very special and you have to always enjoy the big atmospheres. I remember fondly this tie against Barcelona, then against Real Madrid in the semi finals and the final in Seville. We had a great cup run, and we won that trophy deservedly against Atletico Madrid. I hope that Valencia CF will beat Barcelona against and play in another final.”