Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has ruled out any possibilities of a reunion with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi.
The Spanish coach, arguably the best Barcelona manager ever, was instrumental in Barcelona’s resurgence as a European powerhouse. Owing to the inconsistent performances of their respective teams, there have been speculations regarding a reunion. Luis Enrique has received a lot of flak for the performances put up by Barca this season with them more or less losing the La Liga to Real Madrid. On the other hand, Guardiola’s city have been fairly inconsistent this season in the Premier League, failing to close the gap down on the League leaders Chelsea.
Guardiola-Messi: The revolutionary partnership
One of the primary driving force behind Barca’s domination under the Pep era was the tactical deployment of Messi. Realising Messi’s true potential, Pep built a team around the Argentine. Messi was often played in the False 9 position, from where he would single-handedly break down the opposition defences. Pep has also been criticised for showcasing favouritism towards Messi, sacrificing the likes of Zlatan in the process.
Despite all the media allegations, Messi and Pep do share a really strong bond. Time and again the atomic flea has understood the needs of the coach and provided crucial performances when needed. Hence, a reunion between the two would have been spectacular.
Despite speculations that Pep might go back to Camp Nou for a second stint, he denied any possibilities.
“No, I will never go back to Barcelona to be coach there. My period there is gone.” – Pep Guardiola
Talking about Barca’s surprise loss to PSG, the coach said that, “If there’s a team who can do it it’s Barca. With their mentality … it’s normal that there are so many things said because they are a team that has dominated world football for 10 years and when you have dominated world football it’s normal that the people expect you to keep up that level.“
“I said many times about Messi, my desire — and that is going to happen — is that he will finish his career at Barcelona,“
On the other hand, the talks of Messi going to City are futile. As Pep mentioned, Messi’s heart and soul lie with Barcelona. Given his passion and dedication towards the club, there are barely any chances that he will ever make a move as big as to leave Barcelona for Manchester City. Therefore, the possibility of a reunion does seem pretty bleak at the present point in time.