By 90Min
March 13, 2018

Pep Guardiola has claimed that the quality of Lionel Messi improves everyone around the Argentinian, including managers. 

Messi scored another incredible free kick last Sunday in Barcelona's crucial 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid. It was his third free kick goal in as many games, and Guardiola has eulogised over his former player.

"I have the perception that [Messi] has improved every coach who has managed him." He told Spanish outlet Directv Sport (via Marca).

"He has the ability to make everyone around him better."

Messi missed Barcelona's 2-0 win over Malaga on Saturday due to the birth of his third child, but will be back in contention for the second leg of the club's UEFA Champions League tie against Chelsea on Wednesday, a tie which is still in the balance thanks to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, and the 30-year-old will be looking to add to the goal he scored during the first leg. 

The two worked together during Guardiola's time at Barcelona, where Messi recorded 211 goals in 219 appearances under the Spaniard. The player also won four of his five Balon D'or honours while under the stewardship of Guardiola. 

David Ramos/GettyImages

After leaving Barcelona in 2012, Guardiola went onto manage Bayern Munich, where he won three German titles. He left the German club in 2016, before taking up the managerial role at Manchester City, who he has led to the top of the Premier League table and the UEFA Champions League quarter finals. 

The Manchester City manager also shared his views on the upcoming World Cup, and urged managers to be 'brave'.

"[The quality of the World Cup] will depend on how brave the coaches are." He said.

"If they think about attacking, it will be a good World Cup.

"When you get to the quarter final or semi final it will be more difficult, but there are some coaches who believe that the best way of not losing is to be positive."

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