Barcelona host Bayern Munich in Wednesday night’s Champions League semi-final.
Point of view
Of course Barcelona is an important part of my life, Barcelona was everything. But I am here to win, I am her to win.
For Pep Guardiola it is a homecoming of sorts as he won three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues during a golden spell as coach of the Catalan side between 2008 and 2012.
But now he has set his sights on breaking Barca hearts.
“Of course I will be very happy if we score. Let there be no doubt: I want to win. I want to win,” said Guardiola in pre-match press conference. “Of course Barcelona is an important part of my life, Barcelona was everything. But I am here to win,” he added.
Guardiola and his opposite number Luis Enrique are good friends from playing together at the Nou Camp and for Spain.
But the players he left behind hope they can still spring a surprise. Guardiola was a mentor for Argentine striker Lionel Messi who is poised to play his 100th European game, with 96 Champions League appearances and three European Super Cup matches.
“He was with us for a long time and we experienced many important things together. We were lucky to win many trophies together so he not only knows me well but also knows all the players he worked with well,” Messi said.
After making a slow start to the season, Barca are now in ominous form with more than 100 goals between their attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
With both teams led by tacticians who like fast, flowing passing football, we can expect an open and attractive game.