Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff believes Guardiola is the person who can bring the club back to the pinnacle of world football and criticized the current administration.

The Spanish champions were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last week, before losing 1-0 to Granada in La Liga at the weekend.

Defeat in the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid on Wednesday would leave Barcelona with the possibility of a trophiless season.

The current Bayern Munich boss Guardiola spent four years at the helm of the Catalan giants, during which he won a host of titles including two Champions Leagues, Uefa Super Cup, Club World Cup and Copa del Rey crowns as well as three league titles.

Since his departure the club have struggled to reach the same heights, having failed to reach a Champions League final and this season crashing out at the quarters – and currently lie third in La Liga, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

With that in mind, Cruyff believes the best way for the Blaugrana to return to the fore of world football is to lure the 43-year-old back from the Allianz Arena.

“The best thing for Barcelona is for Guardiola to come back,” the club legend told Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

“If Joan Laporta became president again I’d say that the best thing to do is to sign Pep, and as an intelligent person, I’m sure he would.”

The former Barca player and coach then went on to criticise the current administration of the club which is running the reigning league champions, insisting people with a football background should be in charge of the club.

“Those who know what to do are not the decision makers, it’s those who want to take advantage of the football business.

“When Laporta was the president, he left those who knew football like [former director of football] Txiki Begiristain and Frank Rijkaard and then Pep to make football decisions. Everyone can make mistakes, but they knew football motivated their decisions and Laporta was dedicated to being the president and protecting them.

“That’s why it worked. There were good and bad moments, but overall it was a great step for both sides.”

The 66-year-old then went on to discuss the criticism Lionel Messi has received in recent weeks. Messi was lambasted for his performance in Barca’s Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid last week.

“It’s an absurdity. I recently said Messi was the best player in the world, and now, after they were eliminated from the Champions League, his value is being questioned.

“Barcelona has a structural problem. The president wants to be the manager and coach.”