Manchester United striker is not concerned by whom the Reds will get from today’s Champions League draw, which takes place later this morning.
The Uruguayan, who has yet to return from a tendon injury, feels that in order to win Europe’s biggest prize you need to believe you can beat the very best.
United did what they needed in Group F by topping the group as Villarreal finished runners-up. It’s a step up for both teams and a step away from the Europa League.
Cavani has only made three appearances in the Champions League this season but he is not worried about the round of 16 draw. Speaking about qualifying for the knockout phase, he told club media (via ManUtd.com): “Yes, it’s been a job very well done.
“In spite of this Champions League being a tough competition, and then, at times, things became a little more difficult and there were moments when there was an entirely different complexion on things.
“But then as a result of a lot of hard work and a real obsession to achieve our prime target, which was to qualify into the last 16. But right now, we find ourselves in a wholly different position, a position where I think our first objective of getting out of the group stage has been achieved, but we’re now achieving another very important goal, and that is to top the group, which is also a really stand-out achievement of our qualification.”
United started their Champions League slowly with a 2-1 defeat against Swiss opponents Young Boys, but they turned things around to win the group. That means we will be one of the seeded teams at the draw in Switzerland.
Cavani was asked whether he will be keeping a close eye on the draw.
He added: “Look, I have my own personal opinion on this, and everyone will have their own thoughts and views on this competition. I personally know and believe that, to win an overall competition, you have to come up against the very best.
“Sometimes you’re drawn against some teams, other times you’re drawn against other different sides. But I think that the best teams in Europe are involved in this competition. So I’m not really one for thinking, let’s see who we get in the draw!
“Whichever team that we get to play, the key will be that we trust and believe in ourselves, and in just how strong this team can be, and that we are calm in the knowledge that we can go out onto the pitch, against whoever we draw, with our own identity and personality.
“Our identity in the way we play, our own identity… So personally I’m not really one who really pays close attention to the draw.”
Edi’s uncertain future
Will Cavani still be a Manchester United player when the round of 16 ties take place?
The striker is thought to be keen on joining Barcelona when his current United deal expires in the summer.
According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Cavani has no issue playing in the Europa League, which looks set to be Barcelona’s battleground for the foreseeable future. The report reads:
“The Uruguayan and the Spaniard (Man City’s Ferran Torres) remain keen on playing for the club despite Barca’s KO in the Champions League.”