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    Here's why Barcelona-Manchester City is the most beautiful match in the world

    Here's why Barcelona-Manchester City is the most beautiful match in the world

    Two years on and Pep Guardiola wants to try again. After his Bayern Munich team managed to neutralise his former club Barcelona in the 2015 semi-final, he finally fell to a piece of magic from Lionel Messi as the Catalan giants went on to lift the Champions League trophy in Berlin. Now he has a chance for revenge as he takes his Manchester City team to the Camp Nou for a Wednesday night blockbuster. After an electric start to life in England with 10 straight victories, the 3-3 draw in Glasgow against Celtic on matchday 2 followed by a defeat to Spurs and just a draw against Everton, has left Guardiola facing his first mini-crisis since he took over in the summer.
    Tonight in his former home however, Pep wants to demonstrate to the world that he is able to replicate the style of game he brought to Barcelona and which has tried to be copied by technicians all over the world. A style seized upon by his opposite number tonight, Luis Enrique, who has exploited the immense talent of the deadliest trident in football, Messi-Suarez-Neymar. Guardiola wants to make a statement tonight to try to beat Barca at their own game; his game.
    There are so many key battlegrounds tonight; De Bruyne against Rakitic, Fernandinho against Busquets, Iniesta against David Silva. These challeges within the challenge are some of the reasons why this fixture has captured the imagination of football fans around the world. There are other great stories surrounding the game; City striker Nolito who was nurtured in the Barcelona academy and returns to face his coach at Celta Vigo. Then there are the two prodigal sons from Rosario, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, World Champions together at Under 20 level in 2005 and Olympic Gold medallists in 2008, room-mates on international duty but enemies this evening. Finally there’s Neymar, plucked from out from the clutches of the citizens by Barcelona in 2013. The world is watching, let’s hope the two teams do no disappoint.

    By Andrea Distaso. Adapted & translated by Steve Mitchell

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