Lionel Messi breaks down how Pep Guardiola did a 'lot of harm' to football in fascinating, rare sit-down interview
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Lionel Messi has broken down how Pep Guardiola did a 'lot of harm' to football during his time at Barcelona - it's a fascinating take.
The duo worked together at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, winning three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues.
Guardiola had a massive influence on Messi's career and modern football in general. His emphasis on possession and overloads saw several managers emulate his methods.
Few were as successful as Guardiola, who has won league titles with Bayern Munich and Manchester City since.
Messi believes what Barcelona were able to achieve in those four years made the Spaniard's methods 'look simple'. As a result, everyone tried to have centre backs who played out from the back or full-backs who come into midfield.
During a rare sit-down interview with Movistar Plus, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar claimed: "Guardiola did a lot of harm to football. It seemed so simple and easy that everyone wanted to copy his style."
Interviewer Jorge Valdano replied: "Exactly, in every division too, even in the third division central defenders were running forward."
Messi then responded: "Yeah, later I found a lot of Guardiolas around. That's when you realise what we accomplished."
When asked if Guardiola was the best coach he's ever had, seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi admitted: "No doubt about it, Guardiola is special, distinctively the way he sees every match, the preparation for it and how he communicates (the strategy) to us."
Messi's full interview with Movistar is set to drop on Monday in the build-up to the World Cup kicking off on November 20.
The 35-year-old will captain Lionel Scaloni's Argentina side in Qatar with La Albiceleste on a sensational 35-match unbeaten run.
Argentina are in Group C at the World Cup alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.
They start their campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22 before taking on Mexico on November 26. Finally, they face Poland on November 30.
Check out their full squad below:
Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal), Franco Armani (River Plate)
Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Nicolas Tagliafico, (Lyon), Juan Foyth (Villarreal)
Midfielders: Rodrigo De Paul, (Atletico Madrid), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton & Hove Albion), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen)
Attackers: Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan), Paulo Dybala (AS Roma), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)