Barcelona and Bayern Munich were drawn together in the semi-finals of the Champions League in yesterday’s draw, which will see a number of familiar faces return to Camp Nou.
Along with former Blaugrana midfielder Thiago Alcantara, ex-Barca boss Pep Guardiola will lead the Bavarian outfit against the in-form Catalans.
Guardiola won 14 trophies in four memorable years as the La Liga outfit’s head coach, while he is also a graduate of the famous La Masia youth academy and a former captain of the team.
The mastermind coach played a significant role in turning Lionel Messi into the player that he is now during his tenure at Camp Nou and admitted that negating the Argentine’s impact would be key to Bayern’s chances.
"I've enjoyed watching him; now it's my turn to suffer. We will try to create the best defence system possible to keep Leo under control,” Marca quote Guardiola as saying.
"Everyone understands how special it is for me, for Thiago and for my staff. Barcelona was our life.
"I'm here because of my time at Barcelona.
”If you're in the semi-finals, you play against great teams. Of course, Barcelona are one of the best but at the end of the day it's a football game.
It will obviously be a special game. We need to study Barcelona. Barcelona are my home. What more can I say?...I don't have anything bad to say about my former team or players. I won a lot with them.”
Guardiola is under pressure to replicate Jupp Heynckes’ memorable Bayern treble, with a distinct possibility that the Spaniard could match the feat this season.
Barcelona can also record a famous treble of their own if they surpass Guardiola’s men, with a chance to win La Liga and the Copa del Rey still on the cards.
The winner of the clash will face either Real Madrid or Juventus in the final.