The current Bayern Munich coach, who led Barcelona to 14 titles before heading to Germany and helped win more as a player, will face his old team in the first leg on Wednesday at Camp Nou.
“Barca is a very important part of my life. Until now it was everything, but I am here to win,” Guardiola said at the Camp Nou dressed in a bright red Bayern shirt. “It’s inevitable not to remember things now. When I joined Bayern, sooner or later this could happen, but the first time is the first time. I am not here for an homage but to see Bayern through to the final.”
Guardiola has already won the Bundesliga title this season and will next meet his childhood club and former teammate Luis Enrique.
Messi and Luis Enrique, who calls Guardiola his “friend,” both said Tuesday that the chance of reaching a European final was a greater motivation that facing the man already considered a club great.
“With Guardiola, besides the titles, which are the most important thing, I grew and learned a lot as a player,” Messi said. “He knows us, and we know what he wants and asks of his team. It’s 50-50, we all know each other very well.”