Zambrotta: Guardiola's Barca had more world-class players


Former Barcelona defender Gianluca Zambrotta is unsure over whether the club's current vintage is superior to Pep Guardiola's treble-winning heroes.

Guardiola makes his latest return to Camp Nou this week as Manchester City manager in an eagerly awaited Champions League Group C clash.

The Premier League leaders must contain the star-studded forward line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, although Zambrotta suggested Guardiola had more world-class players at his disposal when he swept the board in 2008-09 than Luis Enrique does now.

Even if there is less reliance on Barca's feted La Masia academy in the present day, the ex-Italy international still recognises plenty of commonalities in his former employers' playing style.

"It is hard to say [which side was better], both teams had great quality and great players," Zambrotta told Omnisport.

"Maybe Guardiola's Barcelona had more world-class players.

"This maybe was a team with more players brought up in La Masia but the philosophy is the same - attacking football, and this hasn't changed from Guardiola's age to Luis Enrique's."

Luis Enrique's Barca overcame Bayern Munich when they were under Guardiola's charge at the semi-final stage of the Champions League in 2015, before going on to defeat Juventus in the final.