Pep Guardiola is “delighted” for his former Bayern Munich colleague Erik ten Hag’s success at Ajax and will be keeping a keen interest in their Champions League run.
The 49-year-old Dutchman has made his mark in European football this season by leading Ajax to their first Champions League semi-final appearance since 1997 following victories over the heavily fancied Real Madrid and Juventus.
Now Ten Hag is eyeing another accolade in becoming the first manager to lead Ajax to European glory since Louis Van Gaal in 1995. Considering the remarkable feats they’ve already achieved, few can blame Ajax for dreaming of winning the big prize.
The Eredivisie leaders will next be pitted against Tottenham in the semi-finals, who knocked out Guardiola’s Manchester City in the previous round to deny the Catalan a reunion with Ten Hag.
The duo previously worked together at Bayern, where Ten Hag served as a coach for the reserve team during Guardiola’s time at the German club.
“I was lucky to meet him at Bayern and he was an assistant from the second team. We had a lot of chats,” said Guardiola, according to beIN SPORTS.
“I’m delighted where he is, a historical club. It would have been a pleasure to play him. I wish him a good two games and I will be watching on TV.”
He added: “They have more chances [to win the title] than Man City this season, so we’ll see. One stage more to go to the final.”
Barcelona and Liverpool are the other two semi-finalists in the Champions League this season.
Ajax’s first leg against Spurs will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 30 before the two sides meet for the return fixture at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam a week later.