Pep Guardiola is the greatest manager of all time, and the reason for it is the incredible job he did during an unforgettable four-year career with Barcelona, where the Catalan revolutionized the entire sport and introduced a beautiful style of play that won everything.
Guardiola has already returned to Camp Nou as an opponent since leaving the club, losing 3-0 in the first leg of the 2015 Champions League semifinal with Bayern Munich. Pep hopes for a different result on Wednesday's European Cup visit to Barça's stadium, this time as Manchester City manager.
One thing Pep knows won't be different, however, is the quality of the Blaugrana.
“Barcelona are special in the way they play. They’re a machine. For the last decade, the last 15 years, Barcelona dominate football matches. I love the way they play. They have three amazing players - Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar - up front. They are amazing on the counter-attack. They have a good build-up. They are a good team.”
It's so weird to see Guardiola referring to Barça simply as an opponent, completely removing himself from the equation. After all, the reason why Luis Enrique's team is a "special machine" is because of the spectacular job Pep did to build the team that Lucho inherited and improved.
And that's where Guardiola will be dangerous. From Barça's side, we all love him and are happy to see him at Camp Nou again. For Pep, this is another opponent he has been studying and planning against for the last few weeks, and he'll certainly come up with a genius gameplan.
Wednesday will be fun.