Enrique relishing battle with Pep

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Barca play Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals and Guardiola will return as coach of the German side to the club at where he made his name as a player and manager.

Luis Enrique holds his former team mate in high esteem as a coach.

“(He is the best) because he has achieved a vast number of titles, because I love the way he has done it and with an attacking football style wherever he has been,” Luis Enrique told a news conference On Friday.

“He has been able to adapt to another country and learn a new language, a very difficult language as well, and transmit what he wants.”

Luis Enrique and Guardiola played together at Barcelona where they were heavily influenced by the passing game introduced to the club by Dutch coach Johan Cruyff.

Guardiola was brought into the first team by Cruyff who revolutionised the game with his own perception of “total football”.

Luis Enrique joined in 1996 under Bobby Robson before the club entered a new period of Dutch influence with the arrival of Louis van Gaal.

Guardiola was the midfield brain of Cruyff's side and when he became first-team coach in 2008 he introduced a similar model of football based on strong technical ability and quick short passing.

With two Champions League wins and three La Liga titles in four years under Guardiola, Barcelona enjoyed the most successful spell in the club's history.

Following his departure Barca struggled to maintain the same standards but now under Luis Enrique, who replaced Guardiola as Barcelona B coach in 2008, they are again sweeping aside opponents.

Having comfortably toppled Paris St Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals and remain on course for a treble.

“I always think that teams that face us have little luck because they have to play Barca,” Luis Enrique said.

“It will be special because it is the first time that I face Guardiola and the first that Pep faces Barca.” – Reuters

Original source: Enrique relishing battle with Pep

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