Ahead of Pep Guardiola’s return to Camp Nou, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has played down the potential impact on his players.
Guardiola’s Bayern Munich travel to Catalonia for the first leg of the sides’ UEFA Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, in what will mark a special occasion for the Liga leaders and their former coach.
During his four-year spell with Barca, Guardiola forged one of the most successful sides in the club’s history with many of those players now among Luis Enrique’s ranks.
However, Luis Enrique says the return of his former team-mate will not preoccupy Barca players’ minds.
“For the players I think it will be great for them to face the man who coached them for four years,” he told reporters.
“But I think they’ll understand that what’s more important is this game. There are other things that are nice to talk about but the most important thing is the match.
“I don’t think Pep has any doubts about what we are going to do tomorrow. We both want possession and we shall see who is in better condition tomorrow. I respect them of course, but other than that, we are motivated and feel we can win tomorrow.
“Pep knows every one of my players very well, but I don’t think it’s a determining factor for the match. This type of game is resolved by minor details.
“We [Guardiola and I] had agreed to meet [at the final] in Berlin but that won’t happen now. Whoever wins, we will wish each other luck.
“It will be nice for the players to see Pep again. But they feel the match is more important than to see their former coach. There’s always time at the end of the game to say hello.”
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