‘Messi is the best defender’

Pep Guardiola has commented that Lionel Messi is 'the best defender' he has come across, and that he is unlikely to return to Barcelona again.

The former Barca Coach, who led the club from 2008 to 2012, is continuing a series of talks in South America, this time visiting Messi’s homeland of Argentina, where he reflected on the No 10.

“Messi is the best defender out there. When trying to take the ball off you, he will. I’m sure if you put him at left-back he would be the same,” commented Guardiola this week.

“My influence? If he does what he does in the area, what do I have to do with that?

“When I first came across him, I had never seen him play, but Tito had already told me wonders.”

The Coach also hinted on how he is unlikely to return to Barcelona in the future.

“My spell with Barcelona is over. You're born, you grow and you get old. That's just the way of things.

“It's a personal job where you come into contact with people. I had a fantastic relationship with the people I worked with and those I managed.

“The players that I managed love what they do. They never lost that passion that they'd had ever since they were kids.

“Everything worked well at Barca because I was managing the most amateur professionals I ever met.

“You get to the top by winning with big teams. Otherwise you get cut down to size.

“When you make a decision to leave a club it's better than when someone else makes that decision for you. I was happy in Barcelona.

“My future? It wouldn't be right for me to talk about Bayern. When I start my work there then we can start to talk about that.”

Tags Guardiola Messi