The Gunners host the reigning European champions at the Emirates in the first leg of their last 16 tie. Alexis spent three years at the Camp Nou before opting to make the move to north London for upwards of £35m.
The Chilean made an instant impact upon his arrival in the summer of 2014 and was one of the best players in the league last season. He has struggled this term due to injuries but the attacker hopes to replicate that form for the crucial end of season run in.
It wasn’t easy to leave Barcelona, I fulfilled a dream when I moved there – to play in Spain and for the champions – but very few players stay in the same club all their life. To leave is normal.
The 27-year-old knew his playing time might have been limited with the wealth of attacking talent at Barcelona and chose Arsenal as his next destination and he hasn’t looked back.
I wanted a new project, a new experience. And with so many attacking players at Barca it was a good choice to go… it has been a positive move and I love it at Arsenal.
Arsenal have faced Barcelona numerous times in the Champions League over the last few seasons and know what to expect. The Chilean attacker himself knows first hand the danger the Spanish champions, especially one Argentine maestro, pose to Arsenal’s quest for progression.
We know it won’t be easy. [Messi] is the best footballer in the world, without a doubt. It’s very difficult to stop him but we will work on it. And remember, Barcelona is not only Leo…