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Guardiola doesn't leave anything to chance - Messi

05 May 2015, 17:06

Barcelona - Lionel Messi believes former Barca boss Pep Guardiola will not leave anything to chance when he takes his Bayern Munich side to the Camp Nou for the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

However, despite winning 14 trophies in a stunning four-year spell in charge of Barca between 2008 and 2012, the four-time World Player of the Year doesn't think his inside knowledge of the Catalans will be a big advantage to the German champions over the two legs.

Also read: Enrique shining in Pep's shadow

"He was with us for a long time and we had the luck to win many title and experience important moments. He is a coach that studies everything," said the Argentine on Tuesday.

"It is the same for both sides. Pep knows us very well and we know what he asks of his players. It is 50-50, we both know each other very well."

Barca also have revenge on their minds, though, after Bayern inflicted their heaviest ever European defeat in a 7-0 thrashing at the same stage of the competition two years ago.

"We need to prepare for the game knowing what it means playing in a semi-final of the Champions League and against a great team.

"That semi-final hurt us a lot, but a lot of time has passed since. We come into the game differently, as do they, and it will be a different tie to that one."

Guardiola is expected to get a hero's welcome on his first visit to the Camp Nou in the opposition camp after 15 years at the club as a player and coach.

However, Messi is confident sentiment will be left to one side once the game starts and a place in the final in Berlin on June 6 is at stake.

"It is normal that there is a homage for what he meant as a coach because he won everything here and gave a lot to the club. Once the game starts that will be left to one side and the fans will support the team to try and win as normal."

Barca are seven games away from matching the historic treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey that they won for the only time in the club's history in Guardiola's first season in charge.

And Messi said it was the pain of a trophyless season last year, not losing out in his personal dual with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or that has seen a spike in his performance this season.

"We are feeling very good because of how we are playing in every game. We are calm, going step-by-step and thinking about the next game.

"We know that there is little to go (in the season) and we are very close, but there are still very tough games to play.

"I always said that the most important thing for me are the collective titles.

"Last year we didn't have the fortune to win any and therefore we are desperate to win this year. The individual prizes come from great years winning titles."

Barca boss Luis Enrique is a former teammate of Guardiola, but he insisted his focus was more on the four-time European champions than his friend.

"We are not planning a game against Pep, but a semi-final against a historic team like Bayern and we are desperate to reach the final."

Bayern travel to Catalonia riddled by injuries as Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Holger Badstuber and David Alaba miss out.

However, Enrique dismissed suggestions those absences would give his side the upper hand.

"I think that the Bayern squad is sufficiently strong to not notice those absences. They have done that throughout the season."


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