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Enrique: Guardiola’s Barca Roots Immaterial

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has praised the way Pep Guardiola has changed Bayern Munich’s playing style but doesn’t think his time in charge at Camp Nou will have any impact on Wednesday’s meeting between the sides.

The two teams face one another in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, as Guardiola faces his old club for the first time since his departure in the summer of 2012. The 44-year-old took charge of the Bavarians in the summer of 2012-13 after Jupp Heynckes had guided them to a historic treble and has since led Bayern to two Bundesliga titles and one DFB Pokal.

The Allianz Arena side missed out on Champions League glory last term after being thrashed 7-0 over two legs by eventual winners Real Madrid, but Luis Enrique feels Guardiola has done a fine job at the German giants. “I believe that Bayern, since Guardiola became the coach, have a slightly different playing style,” he said at a press conference.

“He has maintained the positive aspects and added his own touch. They are one of the best teams in Europe without a doubt. We don’t think about beating Pep, we want to beat Bayern – a historic club in Europe. Unfortunately only one of us will reach the final. “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.

He 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. “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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