The Argentine trainer is adamant that this weekend's derby against the Blaugrana will prove to be a celebration for two of the Blaugrana's brightest stars
Espanyol coach Maurizio Pochettino believes Saturday's Liga encounter against rivals Barcelona will provide a party atmosphere at Camp Nou to bid farewell to outgoing boss Pep Guardiola and celebrate Lionel Messi's latest record.
Guardiola announced last Friday that he will leave last season's Champions League winners at the end of the campaign, while the Argentine striker broke the European record for most goals in a single term (68) by scoring a hat-trick in the 4-1 win against Malaga on Wednesday.
Later in the evening, Barcelona had to watch on as Real Madrid were crowned Primera Division champions, yet Pochettino is adamant the Blaugrana will be up for the Catalan derby.
"It's always difficult [the derby] because there's more at stake than three points. Camp Nou will be a party to say goodbye to the coach and also to celebrate Messi as the top scorer. We can regain strength, confidence and [victory] will help our self esteem," the Argentine told reporters at his press conference.
Pochettino is the proud owner of a record himself; the former defender has a better Liga head-to-head record against Guardiola than any other coach in the Spanish top flight, yet he played it down to the media.
"This will be forgotten. It's been a pleasure to face him in one of the best periods of Barca and it is undeniable that he has enjoyed great success," he added.
Espanyol currently sit 13th with two games to go, yet victory in their remaining fixtures could see the team achieve a top half finish.