Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has argued that Manchester United come into Wednesday's Champions League tie as 'one of the best teams in the world'.
United travel to the Spanish capital in high spirits, having won their last two games and climbed back into the top four of the Premier League - although Arsenal are four points behind with three games in hand.
While United are obviously still a work in progress, Simeone stressed that he has been impressed by Ralf Rangnick's side in recent weeks.
"We're facing one of the best teams in the world in the last 14 games, if I'm not mistaken," Simeone said. "They've just lost one [United have lost twice in their last 14, once on penalties]. With the new manager, Ralf Rangnick, it's given the team solidity, teamwork, commitment.
"We can see what Manchester United was always like. They've evolved since the new manager arrived, they're already fourth in the league.
"It's an intense, dynamic team, very brave, with very good forwards, very good footballers overall and who try to make a huge effort to try and unite the huge talents they have in 11 players.
"It's going to be a very difficult game, as every Champions League game is. But we have a lot of anticipation to play in our stadium in front of our fans and we're lucky to play the last 16 at home because we couldn't play that, we couldn't do that last year."
Siimeone added that United's strength comes from their midfield, singling out both Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay for some lavish praise.
"They have an incredible midfield,” Simeone continued. "I am incredibly impressed with the work rate.
“Pogba and McTominay are two of the best midfielders in the world with a great balance.
"The team is much more compact, it's stronger. They have a solidity at the back, they're a very physical team with the central defenders and the midfield they've got. They are really strong and it's really, really difficult to find vulnerabilities there.
"I always assess the virtues of our rival, but of course we will try to find a way to try and hurt them, try and find our way to the goal, if you like."
Source : 90min