Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta doesn't expect AC Milan counterpart Mark van Bommel to be as aggressive in their Champions League match, at least in comparison to last year's World Cup final.
Iniesta scored the extra time winner as Spain won its first World Cup against a bruising Netherlands squad. Van Bommel drew much criticism for the physical play, especially against his former Barcelona teammate who was fouled more than any other player on the Soccer City field.
"There could have been some kind of actions but I don't think it will be repeated again. I like to think we all act in good faith, defending our own interests," Iniesta said on Monday from the Camp Nou stadium. "There were hard tackles but it ended very happily for me, for us."
Van Bommel, however, said the Dutch team was not a team bent on "destroying" its opponent in Johannesburg.
"Everyone wants to win and you are fighting with a player or several players - you are playing the final of the World Cup. After the game I had no hard feelings (and) that's normal - that's football. After the game you forget about it," said Van Bommel before offering a subtle warning to his opponent. "Maybe tomorrow we see each other again on the pitch."
The Dutch finished the 1-0 defeat with 10 players after defender John Heitinga was shown a second yellow card in the 109th minute, one of nine yellows brandished during the game. Van Bommel committed five of the Netherlands' 28 fouls while Iniesta was on the receiving end of eight fouls - four more than the next closest player.
Van Bommel's patience ran thinner on Monday as the questions about the World Cup final continued.
"I think it's a little bit strange because it was one year ago and (tomorrow) we play Barcelona against Milan. So I think it's a little bit strange you ask that question," he said.
"I think we are here now 15 minutes and it's the fourth question about Iniesta. If you recognize the game last year, we had first real chance (to score and) to win World Cup, but that's football. I think we have to look on the positive side and not negative side."
Eventually a Milan official jumped in to tell the news conference that Van Bommel would answer no more questions related to Iniesta, his teammate in Barcelona's league-Champions League double winning team of 2006.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri offered some hope that Milan would not sit back and defend against Barcelona's talented array of players that also include Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and David Villa. But then Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk offered similar words on the eve of the World Cup final last July.
"To just defend against Barcelona is akin to suicide," Allegri said. "You can't just defend the area. You have to show courage."