Cape Town - Luis Enrique has come to the defence of Pep Guardiola, following criticism of the Bayern manager's failure to win a Champions League trophy for the German club.
Pep Guardiola's astonishing Bundesliga record with Bayern Munich could not save the former Barcelona manager from criticism in the media over his third successive Champions League failure.
In the three years under the Spaniard's management, Bayern played 157 competitive matches, winning 118 and losing only 19. The club won three Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal trophy.
However, it appears his inability to lift Europe's most coveted trophy may tarnish this remarkable record in the eyes of many cynical pundits.
The new Manchester City manager has found a likely ally, though, in his former teammate, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.
"I have always been a fan of Pep and I couldn't care less about whether he wins the Champions League or not," Enrique said at a press conference after his side brushed aside relegation candidates Espanyol in their quest for a second consecutive Primera Division trophy.
"I admire him for what he accomplished as a player and as a coach, he is a reference point for those who love an attacking-minded style of football and he's also a friend of mine," Enrique added.
"The important thing here is what he brings to the table, I don't think there's a single football fan who despises Guardiola, and if there is one, let him stew."
Enrique and Guardiola were teammates at the Catalan club from 1996 to 2001, five years in which they won two La Liga titles together.