City have been drawn in Group C alongside Barca, Borussia
Moenchengladbach and Celtic, with Guardiola set to return to the
club where he began his career and managed with distinction for
"I can't deny it's something special for me to return to
Barcelona," he told reporters on Friday. "I grew up there, to
play there at 13 to become a footballer.
"Most of my life I spent there, I know the people, the club, the
media, most of the players, the emotion is there."
Guardiola has come up against Barca before, and will be hoping
that his City side enjoy better fortunes than Bayern Munich, who
lost 5-3 on aggregate in the 2014-15 semi-finals.
"It happened with Bayern," he added. "The first time it's 'wow',
the second time it's the second time, then it's normal."
City also have to negotiate Scottish champions Celtic and
Gladbach, who finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season.
"We'll have to make our best performance to go through to the
next stage. I know Barcelona quite well and Borussia
"I have a lot of respect for Celtic. They have a lot of
experience in Europe."
Guardiola has enjoyed a 100 percent record at City, seeing off
Steaua Bucharest 6-0 on aggregate in the Champions League
playoff and dispatching Sunderland and Stoke City in the Premier
He will not be handing a debut to new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo
for the visit of West Ham United on Sunday, while Kelechi
Iheanacho should be in contention after an injury scare against
"Kelechi was almost nothing so it was a scare but he's fine,"
Guardiola said. "Everybody’s fit and ready, we trained with 30
(Reporting by Ed Dove, editing by Ed Osmond)
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