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Messi the greatest of all time - Guardiola

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) shakes hands with his former coach Pep Guardiola

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) shakes hands with his former coach Pep Guardiola

AFP/Getty Images

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) shakes hands with his former coach Pep Guardiola

Beaten Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola last night described Barcelona's Lionel Messi as "the best player of all time".

"I compare him with Pele," he said. "I am so happy to see this football.

"He is back, he is there where I had the privilege to train him," Guardiola, added, having won the Champions League with the 27-year-old twice in his four years at Barca between 2008-2012. "He is definitely back at his best.

"When Barca have the ball they are extremely strong. I hope in Berlin they can win the fifth European Cup," added Guardiola, who has failed to reach the final with Bayern in his two seasons in charge.

"We tried everything. But we had a lot of problems (with injuries) and when you play with so many problems for two months and the players keep charging forward then the team deserves a big compliment.

"The Bayern players sometimes do not know how good they are. Now I want to celebrate our title and hopefully we can play better next season. It is more important what we did this year compared to last (when Bayern won the double). But a big team must fall this way. It must fall the way we lost today."

Irish Independent