Bartomeu: I hope Guardiola gets the reception he deserves

The Camp Nou chief is looking forward to the Champions League semi-final but insists the team’s focus is solely on La Liga for now

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says he hopes Pep Guardiola gets the reception he deserves when he returns to Camp Nou.

Guardiola will take his Bayern Munich side back to his old home in the Champions League semi-finals, marking his first visit to Catalunya since he stepped down as head coach in 2012.

“The three teams [left] are very good,” Bartomeu said to Canal Plus. “We know Bayern well; Pep is there, a man of this house. We hope he receives the reception he deserves.”

For now, however, Bartomeu insists Luis Enrique’s side must be fully focused on La Liga following their 2-0 win over local rivals Espanyol on Saturday.

“For now, we’re just thinking about the league,” he said.

“Espanyol are a strong rival. Our first half was very good and the second more about maturity, controlling the play.

“They had chances and so did we. We leave very happy.

“I’m looking to Getafe, that’s the only game I see. We have to maintain this gap to Real Madrid.”

Jordi Alba received a red card for two quick-fire bookings in Saturday’s game, prompting a furious response from the full-back and team-mate Sergio Busquets.

Bartomeu, however, said the club would not publicly criticise the official.

“We sent a message of maturity,” he added. “I don’t know what happened between Mateu [Lahoz] and Jordi Alba. They were far away, they had some words. We’re not going to criticise referees.”

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