Lionel Messi used to always ask Sergio Aguero about the same player at Manchester City
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Lionel Messi constantly used to ask Argentina teammate and close friend Sergio Aguero about the same Manchester City player.
City appointed Pep Guardiola as manager in 2016, which saw Barcelona players start to pay attention to the club.
Guardiola managed the Catalan giants between 2008 and 2012, winning two Champions Leagues and revolutionising the sport with his brand of football.
Messi credits Guardiola as a significant influence on his career and the best coach he's ever worked with.
The Telegraph claims there's always been a 'degree of fascination' around City at the Camp Nou thanks to Guardiola's involvement.
Eight-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi paid attention to the players Guardiola had at his disposal. One in particular caught his eye more than most.
It's claimed Messi and Javier Mascherano regularly contacted Aguero to ask about the development of Phil Foden.
The duo asked what 'that kid Foden is like' as a youngster coming through the ranks at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola handed Foden his debut as a 17-year-old against Feyenoord in the Champions League in 2017.
Since then, he's gone from strength to strength. Foden's helped his boyhood side win five Premier League titles, four League Cups, two FA Cups and the Champions League.
This season, the England international has scored five goals and four assists while operating in a midfield role due to the absence of Kevin De Bruyne.
He's spent most of his City career as a winger, although Guardiola believes he has all the tools to move centrally, as Messi did at points in his career.
Speaking back in February, Guardiola explained: "He can play there, still I have the feeling he’s still young, some maturity [is required] to understand what happens in the middle to read what happens.
"When you play [on the wing] you are moving the right, do these kind of things, in the middle many things happen and you have to read what happens to react properly. And still, he’s young. The skills he can do it, absolutely.
“The action he did in Nottingham, like shooting and putting the balls in for Erling [Haaland], is the position for Messi when attacking in that period, it’s perfect for Phil.
"Phil is really good doing that, in the pockets, in the right like Kevin [De Bruyne] plays."
You can understand why Messi showed an interest. The two are similar on the pitch. City return to action against Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.