Nyon - Pep Guardiola will return to face his former club Barcelona after the
draw for the Champions League semi-finals on Friday paired the Catalans
with Bayern Munich while holders Real Madrid were drawn against
Barcelona, who are in the last four for the seventh time
in eight seasons, will be at home to the Bundesliga side in the first
leg on May 5 or 6 with the return at the Allianz Arena the following
Guardiola won the European Cup as a player with Barcelona in
1992 and then won 14 trophies in four seasons as coach, including the
Champions League in 2009 and 2011.
He had made way for Tito
Vilanova by the time Barca were destroyed 7-0 on aggregate by Bayern in
the semi-finals in 2013, when the German giants went on to win the
"Of course, only football can write stories like this," remarked Bayern's sporting director Matthias Sammer.
"We know we'll be facing a good opponent. It's a great situation to be in and I'm looking forward to it hugely.
said 'let's go!' when he heard. Offensively, neither side has anything
to hide, Barcelona are super going forward and so are Bayern."
leaving in 2012, Guardiola did not go back to the Camp Nou until he
attended Barcelona's victory over Manchester City in the last 16 last
His old side are now coached by Luis Enrique, alongside whom he played at Barcelona in the 1990s.
is a special game because Pep is on the other side. It will be the
first time that he has faced his Barca, it will be the first time that I
have faced him as a coach which will be special for me, and I am sure
it will be for my players," said Luis Enrique, who did not seem too
concerned about having to play the first leg at home.
"We have played 10 games in the Champions League, and we have won nine and lost one, playing both home and away.
are going to try and win at home and away. It is another thing to
actually achieve it, but our preparation and what we are looking for are
Madrid must go to Italy for the first leg of their tie against Serie A
leaders Juventus as they look to become the first club to retain the
trophy in the Champions League era.
The tie is a repeat of the
1998 final, which Madrid won 1-0 in Amsterdam, and the Spanish side will
be widely fancied to come out on top on this occasion too.
will face a legendary club, I think it is good news for football and the
Champions League that Juventus have returned to this level and
obviously it will be a very even tie," said former Real player Emilio
Butragueno, now the club's Director of Institutional Relations.
faced them last year, they are a very competitive team and hopefully we
can recover the injured players to be able to face this tie at our
The 10-time European champions beat city rivals
Atletico Madrid in a tense quarter-final despite being without the
injured Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, although coach Carlo
Ancelotti is confident that at least the latter two will be fit in time
for the semi-finals.
Italian Ancelotti played in the last team to
win the European Cup in successive seasons, the AC Milan side of 1989
and 1990, and coached Juventus between 1999 and 2001.
through to their first Champions League semi-final since losing on
penalties to Ancelotti's Milan in the 2003 final at Old Trafford.
are therefore the outsiders in the last four, with Barcelona, Bayern
and Madrid having racked up 13 semi-final appearances between them in
the last six seasons and having won the Champions League four times
between them over the same period.
This year's final will be played in Berlin on Saturday, June 6.