Friday 20 April 2018

Leo Messi: I don't have any kind of relationship with Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola embraces Lionel Messi during his time in charge of Barcelona.
Pep Guardiola embraces Lionel Messi during his time in charge of Barcelona. Newsdesk

Barcelona star Lionel Messi says that the one-time "fantastic" relationship he enjoyed with Pep Guardiola no longer exists.

The former Barcelona manager returns to the Nou Camp tomorrow night when Bayern Munich look to repeat their 7-0 demolition of the Catalans at the same stage of the competition two years ago.

Guardiola enjoyed glittering success in charge of the La Liga giants, including including two Champions League titles and three Liga crowns, and while Messi acknowledges the impact the coach had during the period of 2008-2012, things have changed between the pair.

"We had a great time when Pep was here," he told the media ahead of the Champions League last-four tie. "We won a lot of titles and I grew a lot – that was the time when I grew most as a footballer."

"We had a fantastic relationship when he was here. I have seen him a few times since he left, but we don’t have any kind of relationship now.

Another coach where the dynamic has changed is with the current man in the Barcelona hotseat, Luis Enrique. The Argentinian had a much-publicised fall-out with the coach at the start of the year and was subsequently benched for the La Liga encounter with Real Sociedad.

However that is water under the bridge as far as the diminutive striker is concerned as was quick to praise the man in charge.

"I have said before that what happened happened, but since then there haven’t been any problems at all.

"How does Luis Enrique compare to Guardiola? Some things are different. Pep has his way of doing things. Both coaches treat the players well and treat them equally."

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