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Iniesta eager for ´special´ Guardiola encounter

Andres Iniesta says it will be tough to face his former coach Pep Guardiola when Barcelona host Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old midfielder is a seasoned veteran when it comes to Europe’s top competition, having lifted the Champions League trophy four times with Barca.

But despite his pedigree, the Spain international remains wary of tackling his former mentor.

“It is special to play against Pep, as it was when he was at Bayern Munich. We share important things with him as people and at a club level. It will be a difficult rivalry,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“Pep tells his players about how they should set up and his teams always have a special stamp. Also, they have great players at Manchester City.”

Iniesta suggested there is no limit to the ambition of Barcelona and he would not rule out the possibility of securing a third treble of LaLiga, Copa del Rey and Champions League.

“People are really into what we do here and the image we have of winning titles. In two years we have won many but that will not stop us from aiming for more,” he said.

“Each season we start from scratch and there are different aims. We will try again this year be around titles.”

Iniesta is now among the most experienced players in the dressing room for both club and country but he is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.

“I have been healthy for many years and had the confidence of my coaches and peers and every year or so I have improved,” he said.

“It is so difficult to talk about, but you can never say that you cannot add many more games. My feeling, and hope, is to continue performing well. We’ll see how far I get.”

The Barca skipper also provided some insight into his relationship with the head coach, the pair having played together at Camp Nou from 2002 to 2004. 

“We were team-mates, and I’m his player now. Our relationship is very good,” he said.

“We talk about everything football and non-football. We have enough confidence to talk about all this but he makes the decisions and the player must fulfil his wishes.

“The style and what we seek to achieve is unlikely to change in this club. There are different ways to do this, there are different players and runs of form but the essence – not think much will change.”

Fri 14 Oct, 2016
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