With Barcelona currently undefeated and Bayern Munich flying high in Germany and Europe too, it is intriguing to consider which of manager Pep Guardiola’s previous and current teams would emerge victorious from such a mouth-watering fixture.
But perhaps even more captivating is to wonder if Pep’s incredible feats at Barca will ever be repeated, and if the current crop of Camp Nou conquistadores would be able to beat their illustrious predecessors.
Of course, many of the players from the Pep era remain in ‘Tata’ Martino’s thus far unbeaten team, and so a match-up is impossible.
But still, many pundits wonder whether or not ‘Tata’, or anybody, will be able to steer Barca to the heights Pep took them to.
Defender Gerard Pique is unconvinced.
While he insists that Barca are currently playing well under Martino, and are likely to get better, the Spanish international stopper does not think the success of Pep can be replicated.
He thinks the way Barca vacuumed up trophies under Guardiola was a sporting anomaly that is unlikely to be repeated.
“Of course our play can improve,” Pique told El Larguero, when asked of his current team rivals the Barca of the recent past.
“We are coming from being so, so great, that anything which is not of that level seems to be not very much.
“[We are missing] more pressure up front, more fluidity, more regular chances, to have one every three or four minutes, which we had a few years ago.
“But we are talking about something very, very difficult, making comparisons with 2009, when we won six trophies.
“We are talking about the best team in history. Nobody can achieve that.”
Pique’s club-mate Sergio Busquets, who was brought to life as top professional by Guardiola, also thinks the comparisons are unfair.
Speaking to Canal + in the wake of Barca’s Champions league win over AC Milan this week, Busquets responded to the claim that the Spanish champions are below par this season.
“That depends on who you compare us to,” he said.
“It will be very difficult for anyone to repeat the first Guardiola era. First for us, and second because our opponents know us better. They make it hard for us, and sometimes we lack that spark so it is difficult. We are not at 100 percent but that will come.”