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Pep Guardiola Recalls How He Knew He Would Win 'Everything' After Meeting Lionel Messi

Pep Guardiola Recalls How He Knew He Would Win 'Everything' After Meeting Lionel Messi

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola recalled his first experience with Lionel Messi and how he recognised the Barcelona superstar would help him "win everything."

The 48-year-old Spaniard managed Barcelona B for one season before he succeeded Frank Rijkaard as the first-team's head coach in 2008.

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And Guardiola would shake up Barca's style of play by using Messi as a 'false nine' and forming a deadly trident alongside club legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

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The ex-Barcelona boss spoke to Catalunya Radio and revealed how he was blown away when he saw Messi 'live up to the hype factor.'

He explained: "I had already told someone from the squad that there was a very good one in the squad.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"They told me that I was very young, but I was happy with many goals and he was very good.

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"I did not know him and one day I saw him his father at a Nike el Prat store.

"I saw him small and shy and I thought: 'is this one so good they say?'

"But we started a season in Scotland, we won 1-6, 0-5... and he hit you three goals.

"I thought that with him we would win everything."

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Guardiola coached Barcelona for four years and kick-started his illustrious managing career with plenty of silverware.

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The Spaniard would lift the La Liga title three times with Barcelona, two Champions Leagues, two Club World Cups, two Copa del Reys, two UEFA Super Cups and three Spanish Super Cups.

Guardiola would leave Barcelona and later move to Bayern Munich, but he opened up about the impact that he left on the club.

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"Between party and party there is not much time to enjoy it, but in the process of building the team," he said.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"See that the changes we made worked and everything was flowing. How were they brought together, chemistry, with respect to the status.

"How did you know who was the best, how was the distribution of salaries accepted...

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"Everything went away. They were a group of friends, who went out to dinner often.

"A group that knew how to move forward in moments of difficulty.

"All this was very good, but the importance of driving a transatlantic man such as Barca means that you do not have much time to enjoy it."

Messi admitted in a 2018 interview that he would welcome the idea of working with his former Barcelona boss again.

Featured Image Credit: Catalunya Radio/PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Pep Guardiola, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, La Liga, Barca, Camp Nou

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]