Guardiola admits Barcelona will always be 'special' to him

The Manchester City boss states it will be a good test for his side to play against the "best team" in a clash filled with personal memories for him

Pep Guardiola will enjoy a "special" occasion filled with nostalgia when Manchester City take on Barcelona at the grounds where he progressed from boyhood fan to key player and head coach.

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City lie two points behind Barca in Champions League Group C heading into matchday three and will aim to overturn a run of four consecutive losses in the tournament against the La Liga champions.

Guardiola was also on the receiving end of a beating when he returned to Camp Nou with Bayern Munich in 2015, as Lionel Messi inspired a 3-0 win on the way to a semi-final triumph and the European title.

Nevertheless, the 45-year-old conceded this can never simply be a routine fixture for him as a visiting coach.

"It was one-and-a-half years ago when I came here with Bayern Munich. It is always special for me to sit here. This stadium is part of my life," he told a pre-match press conference.

"I grew up here as a boy and had my football career as a player and a trainer. When you travel around you always remember the places and the people you meet. My family is here, that is why I am always happy.

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"Of course it is a good test for us to play against the best team."

Reflecting on his trophy-laden spell as Barcelona boss between 2008 and 2012, he added: "I don't miss it – I was so happy here and I miss the people I met here.

"I was happy working with them but the club changed the people so most of them I don't know them. The club remains the same, with a huge history behind it and a huge history in front – a lot of passion from the fans.

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"In that moment there was an unbelievable generation of players. It does not matter who was in charge, they were fighters with unbelievable talent.

"It was part of my life, I closed that chapter, I opened in Munich a new one. And now another new one."