Pep Guardiola: “I’m sure Leo Messi will try everything to return to Barcelona”

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With the future of Lionel Messi uncertain, the Argentine’s former boss Pep Guardiola gave an interview to ESPN in which he assured fans that his ex-star “will do everything possible to return to Barcelona”.

Guardiola also indicated the obvious as he said that he is “a Barcelona fan, I’ve got my tickets “at Camp Nou” and that he hopes “that one day we can say goodbye to him as he deserves”.

The Paris Saint-Germain attacker whose contract comes to an expiration this summer, has become a thing of admiration for Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window.

Pep Guardiola also insinuated what he has stressed overtime, saying that the Argentine “has been the greatest player of all time”. 

“In the last 12 years or so, Barcelona had a boom and that wouldn’t have been possible without him.

“And I’m not talking about numbers, but rather his involvement in the play, his beauty, his efficiency, everything.”

Pep Guardiola previously managed Lionel Messi during his time as Barcelona manager

The exit of Lionel Messi two summers ago came as a shock to Barcelona and Pep Guardiola further said: “I never would have thought that it would end as it did.

“I’m convinced that president Joan Laporta loves Leo, and since he left, he has said Messi deserves to have a farewell for the important figure that he is.

“Leo helped our club Barcelona become much greater than when he arrived. When a person is so big, you have to say goodbye in the right way.” 

The Spaniard also stated that Messi left due to thousands of reasons which he wouldn’t talk about. 

He said: “He left because of very difficult financial circumstances, for thousands of reasons that I’m not going to get into.

“I hope the day comes when I’m in my seat at Camp Nou and I can stand up and applaud, and say goodbye to Leo as he deserves.

“And I know that Joan Laporta is going to try, and Leo too, and he and his family will receive all the love that Barcelona fans have for him, with all the gratitude and respect for what he did for the club.”

Lionel Messi has been urged by a legend of Barcelona to join Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City instead of Barcelona.

Carles Rexach who played 328 games for Barcelona as a winger and scored 81 goals between 1965 and 1981 said the ideal team for Messi to join is the current team of Pep Guardiola.

Rexach said on Radio Villa Trinidad: “The ideal team for Lionel Messi is Manchester City because he can still shine there.

“If you ask me, the team that plays the way Barcelona played ten years ago is Manchester City and it is the place where Messi could fit in to continue winning things.

The 76-year-old Spaniard added: “Messi always has to play at the top level, He should speak directly with Guardiola to get him to sign him up and look to win another Champions League.”

Several teams have been said to be eyeing a move for Lionel Messi but Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side are not among the popular mix.

MLS side Inter Miami, Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal and a return to his former side FC Barcelona has been mooted. 

Lionel Messi

Some French media outlets on Tuesday reported that a deal with a Saudi side was already completed including that Lionel Messi was in the process of finalizing some contractual agreements before penning a deal.

However, Lionel Messi’s father denied any agreement had been reached with any team and asserted that no decision would be made until the campaign comes to an end.

Earlier this season, it was reported that Lionel Messi reportedly ignored phone calls from Barcelona President Joan Laporta as the Spanish club strived for his comeback to Camp Nou.

Following Messi’s exit from Barcelona in 2021, several notable teams were rumored to be going for his signature including Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain which he subsequently joined.

However, Pep Guardiola said that Manchester City had no plans to acquire the Argentine since the club have already signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for a then British record of £100m.

Lionel Messi has scored 20 goals and provided 19 assists across all competitions so far in the 2022/23 campaign.

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