Lionel Messi most gifted athlete in the world: Pep Guardiola
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Lionel Messi most gifted athlete in the world: Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola worked with Lionel Messi at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012 . The pair won three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues together .

football Updated: Jun 11, 2017 21:23 IST
Lionel Messi,Pep Guardiola,Manchester City
Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola won three La Ligas and two Champions Leagues together at Barcelona.(Getty Images)

Manchester City’s head coach Pep Guardiola on Friday praised Argentine footballer Lionel Messi calling him the ‘most gifted athlete in the world’.

(Read | Lionel Messi, Ronaldo put best foot forward: See their best goals of the season)

Having managed Barcelona from 2008-2012, Guardiola has worked closely with the 29-year-old striker.

“He is one of the most privileged, gifted athletes of all time, I would like to enter his brain and find out how he can withstand the pressure like he has, with both Barcelona and Argentina on his back.” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the Dailymail.

(Read | Barcelona ‘fully support’ Lionel Messi after fraud sentence)

Guardiola also emphasised on the goal-scoring ability Messi has and said: “The whole world expects him to score three goals and set up three goals in every match. The other players know that they have Messi on their side and will rely on him.”

Barcelona’s decision of roping former Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde as their head coach has also been backed up by the City manager.

(Read | Lionel Messi lookalike mesmerizes Iran, booked for disrupting traffic)

‘I am very happy that the club has chosen Valverde as head coach. I spoke to him once and always said to push the forwards,” Guardiola said.

“The leadership must now be in this profile -- calmer, providing fewer headlines, letting the results speak. He is a sensible person and he knows a lot about football. I have always liked to see his teams play,” he concluded.

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 18:09 IST