Pep Guardiola’ s glowing comments about Lionel Messi over the years have come to light just as the two prepare to face off against one another in the Champions League.
Manchester City play Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage of the competition, in what’s a hugely anticipated encounter.
And the game will provide another occasion where the former coach and player meet again.
Just ahead of the game, Guardiola said via ESPN : “We know exactly how difficult it is. But at the same time we are trying to go again, knowing how good they are individually and collectively.
"I think this kind of player [Messi] speaks for itself. Messi speaks for itself; you don't have to describe him. What he's done is more than exceptional."
But perhaps most fittingly was when he said to UEFA earlier last year: “He is the best player I have ever seen. The best thing about him is not what he does but how simple he makes everything look.
“He is not the best player just because he can dribble past three or four players, it is because he does it better than anyone in the world.”
Guardiola and Messi won a tremendous 14 trophies together at Barcelona during what was a four-year spell.
Messi eventually left Barcelona when the La Liga giants were unable to renew his contract owing to financial fair play rules.
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There was a point in which Messi was supposed to link up back with Guardiola last summer – but eventually, he made the move to PSG.
"We spent £40m on Jack Grealish. We paid £100m and brought in £60m," Guardiola said about a potential move for Messi.
"He will wear the No.10 because we were convinced with Grealish and we were convinced Leo would continue at Barcelona, so right now he is not in our thoughts."
Guardiola remains unconvinced his City side will be able to nullify PSG's threat though.
"With this amount of quality I don't know how to stop them, they're so good," said Guardiola. "This amount of talent makes it so difficult.
"They were a fantastic team last season. It was a tight game. And now they have Messi."
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