Pep Guardiola: Messi was the best ever even without the World Cup

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola spoke about his former player and World Cup winner Lionel Messi on Wednesday.

“Leo Messi is the best in history and my opinion on that would not have changed even if he had not won the World Cup with Argentina on Sunday,” Guardiola said in quotes picked up by Mundo Deportivo.

Guardiola was speaking to the media on the eve of his side’s meeting with Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup on Thursday.

Guardiola coached Messi at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012 in a golden era for the Blaugrana. The 35-year-old PSG forward scored twice in the World Cup final and converted his penalty (La Albiceleste’s first) in the shootout that made Argentina champions (4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw).

“Everyone has an opinion but no one can doubt that he (Messi) is the greatest of all time,” Guardiola said about the player with who he won 14 titles at Barcelona, including two Champions League titles (2009 and 2011).

Guardiola added: “For me, Leo is the best, it’s difficult to understand how a player can compete as he has done. People who have seen Pelé, Alfredo Di Stéfano or Diego Maradona… opinions always have a sentimental factor, but, on the other hand, if Messi had not won the World Cup, my opinion wouldn’t change”.

GSFN | Kieran Quaile

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