Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is hoping his former club can defeat rivals  Real Madrid when the two sides meet in the Champions League. 

Manchester United face Los Blancos in the last 16 of the competition, with the first leg taking place on Wednesday night at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

And the Spanish international, who left Old Trafford in 2008, wants his former employers to win the game and reach the last eight of the competition. 

"I would like Manchester United to make it to the next round," Pique told reporters.

"I would like them to progress because of my time at the club. However, Madrid have been in good form in recent weeks. It promises to be an interesting tie."

Pique was in action this weekend as Barcelona increased their lead at the top of La Liga to 12 points with a 6-1 thrashing of Getafe, while second-place Athletico Madrid went down 2-1 to Rayo Vallecano. 

After grabbing a goal in the victory, the 26-year-old praised the strength and depth within the squad, as Tito Vilanova's side continue their march towards the title. 

"We have a very complete team. A few players who don’t usually enjoy a lot of minutes [on the pitch] got to play on Sunday and they proved that they are at a good level. This gives us tranquility," he said. 

Pique made only 12 appearances during his time at Old Trafford, but since joining Barcelona has picked up two Champions League titles. 

Barcelona will also be in European action next week, as they travel to the San Siro to face AC Milan. 

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