Baresi backs Milan to beat Spurs as they are 'ripe to go far' in Champions League
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Peter Thompson
Stats Perform
Milan legend Franco Baresi
Milan legend Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi believes Milan are "ripe to go far" and must "think big" in the Champions League after they were drawn to face Tottenham in the round of 16.

The Serie A champions on Monday discovered they will do battle with Antonio Conte's side for a place in the quarter-finals next year.

Milan qualified from Group E as runners-up last week by hammering Salzburg 4-0, while Spurs won 2-1 at Marseille to avoid an early exit.

Rossoneri and Italy legend Baresi is bullish about the prospects of Stefano Pioli's men. who have won five of their past six matches and are second in Serie A behind unbeaten Napoli. 

Milan's honorary vice-president told Sky Sport: "Milan will prepare in the best possible way and will be ready to amaze again.

"I think the team is ripe to go far. We respect Tottenham, they are special matches in the Champions League, but we have to think big."

The Rossoneri finished bottom of their Champions League group with just one win from six matches last season, but Baresi says they are a different proposition now.

He added: "There is enthusiasm and the team is ripe for the knockout stages of the Champions League, last year's experience was important and now there is a conviction that we can play against anyone. Conte will be attentive to everything but Milan are up to it."

Baresi feels Milan have all the ingredients to trouble the best sides in Europe.

"Milan have risen to a level in general, we are producing incredible performances and the team plays football that they like and that creates [chances]," he said.

"We have a very strong midfield and a defence that is not afraid. Up front we create a lot and the fact it is essential that the players participate. San Siro will be of great help."

Spurs beat Milan 1-0 at the same stage of Europe's premier club competition 11 years ago, with Peter Crouch scoring the only goal at San Siro to secure a 1-0 aggregate win.

The first leg will be played either in the week commencing February 15 or 21.


AC MilanTottenham HotspurChampions League
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