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By Martin Graham | 15th Nov 2022
Lionel Messi said his former manager Pep Guardiola damaged football. The Argentine superstar jokingly said the simplicity of his methods damaged football.
How many coaches in the world right now can be called elite? Not many, but of the few that make this category, Pep Guardiola comes highly rated. Some managers are perhaps better than Guardiola. There is Carlo Ancelotti, the only manager to have won the Champions League on four occasions, and then there is Zinedine Zidane, the only one to win it three times in a row. You cannot make a list without Jose Mourinho, who has always taken on the most difficult tasks, and of course, there is Sir Alex Ferguson.
The top clubs always go for the elite managers. It is why Real Madrid has a love relationship with Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane. It is also why they have won the Champions League more times than any club. Quality attracts success.
In all these, what Pep Guardiola did at Barcelona is unprecedented. The Spaniard took Barcelona to heights the Catalan club has never reached. He won a septuplet at Nou Camp and opened the doors to join Europe’s top clubs. One of the greatest footballers of all time has attested to his greatness. He claims he made it simple and easy.
Lionel Messi hails Pep Guardiola
Since departing Barcelona, where he won two Champions League titles, Pep Guardiola is yet to win the most coveted trophy in European club football. Amid the massive investments he has attracted at the various clubs he has managed (especially Man City), the Spaniard has come up short in the competition, but his name will ring through the annals of football.
Lionel Messi has nothing but praise for the man who brought him to the limelight. Messi played under the guidance of Pep Guardiola for four successful seasons and won two Champions League titles and La Liga three times. The Paris Saint-Germain player, who will lead Argentina to perhaps his last World Cup, jokingly said Guardiola did damage to football by making it so simple and easy.
In a chat with ESPN, Messi said his former boss Guardiola did a lot of harm to football. He claims he made it simple and easy that everyone wanted to copy him. Messi continued that he found many Guardiolas out there. It made him realise what we did and what that was.
Messi shared his opinion on Guardiola. Messi said the best manager he has ever worked with is Guardiola. The Argentine agreed, saying he was undoubtedly the best. Messi said Guardiola has something special. He praised how he watches and prepares for matches and how he communicates.
Following a disappointing first season at PSG, Messi is now enjoying life in Paris.
A record of ups and downs
Guardiola is a successful coach. He has won titles and dominated the domestic leagues wherever he has gone. The Spaniard won everything on parade at Bayern Munich and Manchester City except the Champions League.
With Guardiola at the helm, Barcelona dominated football in Europe and the world. Lionel Messi understands the importance of Guardiola in his football growth and lavished praise on him.