It was written in the stars, a match many eagerly anticipated – aside from the possibility of an El Classico – as Bayern Munich drew Barcelona for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
The draw is set to bring former Barcelona manager, Pep Guardiola, back to the Camp Nou where he forever will remain a cult hero, having bagged a phenomenal 14 trophies in just four seasons.
To add to the spice of the clash, the Catalans would be seething for revenge, having been annihilated by the German champions 7-0 at the same stage two years ago. But it will be a tough task; Barcelona have a dismal record against the Bavarians, having won one of eight past Champions League games against Bayern Munich.
And it promises to be a cracker of a tie come May 6 and 12, as the two giants go head to head. This is definitely one for the neutrals as the two pass masters clash yet again.
“It is a special game because Pep is there, for me, and for the players… When there is a draw like this, I always think that it’s bad luck that the team who have to play against Barca… In this case it is different, they are two clubs with the same aspirations,” said Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique.
However, throwing caution to the wind; both sides pride themselves of playing fluid and possessional play. Thus, should either team decide to approach the game with some degree of caution, we are likely to witness a game where either side is fighting to dominate possession at the expense of threatening one another.
That being said, both managers will have enough incentives and desire to outfox the other. For Guardiola, the opportunity to show that he has grown leaps and bounds after his sabbatical. And now, once and for all, he has the opportunity to get one over his previous employers. For Enrique, this could be an opportunity to emulate his predecessor’s success. Enrique has chalked up more wins in his first 50 games in charge than any other manager in the club’s history. And he is well on his way to pick up some silverware this season – and he is not about to let Guardiola jeopardise his escalation to the summit.