Big match over... now for Messi

The big day of ManchesterâÂÂs match against Strommen IF of the Norwegian third division finally arrived. Emotions were running high, not least in my own mind. I was dying to start the game, but as  manager I knew there were better players than me in the squad.

We entered EspanyolâÂÂs training ground determined not to be intimidated. UEFA Cup finalists last season, Espanyol are having an excellent season and are excited about their move to a new 40,000 seat âÂÂEnglish-styleâ stadium on the outskirts of Barcelona next year. Letting us use their facilities is a âÂÂcommunity gestureâÂÂ. There are more Catalans playing for Espanyol than Barca. Too often marginalised by a Barça-obsessed media, Espanyol have been compared to Manchester City as an example of a club living in the shadow of a giant.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Andy Mitten
Editor at Large

Andy Mitten is Editor at Large of FourFourTwo, interviewing the likes of Lionel Messi, Eric Cantona, Sir Alex Ferguson and Diego Maradona for the magazine. He also founded and is editor of United We Stand, the Manchester United fanzine, and contributes to a number of publications, including GQ, the BBC and The Athletic.