Lionel Messi Text Pep Guardiola After Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Arrival, Worried About His Position
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's time at Barcelona didn't last very long or go too well, but when he first arrived Lionel Messi was so worried about losing his spot it forced him to message Pep Guardiola.
After winning the Treble in 2008/09 Guardiola signed Ibrahimovic from Inter, with Samuel Eto'o going in the opposite direction, but the Swede lasted just one season in Spain before moving to AC Milan.
Whist he didn't stay long his presence was enough to worry Messi that his spot for Barca wasn't secure. In 'The Messi Mystery' by Sebastian Fest and Alex Juillard, via Goal, the book explains that the arrival of Ibra forced Messi into messaging manager Guardiola.
According to the book the message said, in not exact words, "I can see that I am no longer important to the team, so...," and was sent on the team bus as he found it hard to express his feelings in person to Pep.
The six-time Ballon d'Or player wasn't the world beater he turned out to be at the time, although he was already developing into one of the best on the planet, and had put in two bad performances before Ibrahimovic's arrival.
It was Messi's fourth season in the first team but the book goes on to say, "Messi had failed to shine in a few games and Ibrahimovic was playing well. Suddenly, there were complications for the Argentine."
Ibrahimovic's time as the main man were short though and soon enough the older man was playing second fiddle to the short Argentinian.
Guardiola moved Messi from wide to play through the middle, with 'Ibra' having to play out wide instead, where he went on to 47 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions.
In contrast Ibrahimovic scored 21 goals in 45 appearances for the Catalan giants before moving back to Milan, first on loan, and then moving to France, England, the US before returning to AC Milan.
Speaking about Pep in his own book years later Ibrahimovic wrote, "When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari. If you drive a Ferrari, you put premium petrol in the tank, you hit the motorway and you step on the gas. Guardiola filled up with diesel and took a spin in the countryside. He should have bought a Fiat," adding, "As a coach, he was fantastic. As a person, I've no comments about that, that's something else. He's not a man, there's nothing more to say."
Maybe all their issues can be put down to a text sent from Messi's phone on the bus...