Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez believes Pep Guardiola will be supporting his former side when they take on his future employers, Bayern Munich, in the Champions League semi-final.

With the first instalment of the two-legged tie taking place at the Allianz Arena this evening, the Spain international has reassured supporters of the Catalan club, that the fans' favourite will be hoping for Tito Vilanova's team to progress to the Wembley final.

Guardiola is currently enjoying a year-long sabbatical away from the game, after ending his trophy-laden four year spell at Camp Nou in the summer of 2012, but it was announced in January that the Barca legend would succeed Jupp Heynckes as head coach of the Bundesliga giants from the start of 2013/14.

"He will enjoy the tie," Xavi predicted in Monday's official UEFA pre-match press conference. "As the cule he is, he will be wanting Barcelona to win, I imagine, even though he has a future at Bayern. 

"As a big football fan, he will enjoy a semi-final like this a lot."

Bayern Munich cruised into the semi-finals with a 4-0 aggregate victory over Juventus in the previous round, while Barcelona made hard work of seeing off Paris Saint-Germain.

In truth, the Spanish side have struggled to hit top form on a number of European occasions this season, but given Barcelona's pedigree in the competition, the semi-final tie is evenly poised, says Xavi.

"We are not going there as victims," he said. "I believe the tie is at 50/50. Bayern are a great team, in a spectacular moment of form. 

"They have reached this point more comfortably than we have. But Barcelona is Barcelona: we have spent years imposing our hierarchy in Europe.

"We will try to be protagonists in the game. We have been to six semi-finals in a row, and this is where we want to be."

 

 

 

 

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#UEFA Champions League