Barcelona star Thierry Henry wanted to avoid Arsenal

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The Independent Football

France international striker Thierry Henry admitted he wanted to avoid former club Arsenal in the quarter-finals of this season's Champions League.

The France star spent an illustrious eight-year spell in north London, scoring a club record 226 goals for the Gunners, and made clear he wanted to face one of the other six teams.

He said: "Let's say there is one team that I don't want to play and that is Arsenal.

"That's because of my affinities there and because of my love for the club. But after that you know you can never tell.

"And you can't say 'oh I want them and I don't want them' because I think that shows a lack of respect for me to say that about other teams."

Meanwhile, Barcelona could be without Xavi for the clash with the Gunners after he the midfielder was ruled out for two weeks after injuring his calf during training.

The Spain playmaker missed Wednesday's Champions League last-16 victory over Stuttgart with the knock and will now be sidelined until the end of March.

Meanwhile, captain Carles Puyol has called on his troops to remain grounded following their emphatic 4-0 second-leg success over the Bundesliga outfit.

A superb double from Lionel Messi and further strikes by Pedro and Bojan Krkic helped to secure a 5-1 aggregate win at the Camp Nou.

However, Puyol knows there is still a long way to go if they are to defend their crown in this season's Final at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu in May.

He said: "The euphoria is normal but we have our feet on the ground as it's already been shown you can have one bad day and be eliminated.”

Winger Pedro added: "All the remaining teams will be difficult. We respect them and we have to be focused."