Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi's rise to prominence in world football go hand-in-hand. The pair dominated Europe between 2008 and 2012, making Barcelona arguably one of the greatest footballing sides in the history of the sport.
And while the two have almost reunited on multiple occasions in recent years, they now face off in the UEFA Champions League, as the faces of two club's fighting for their first taste of European silverware.
As Manchester City prepare to head to Paris for the first of two Champions League group matches against Paris Saint-Germain, Guardiola has opened up on what it would be like facing the Argentine superstar.
"It happened when I was at Bayern [Munich]. Normally it is difficult to find one long career as a player and the same manager all his career. I played against [him when I was at] Bayern and when I was here at City," the manager said.
"It was a surprise for everyone, what happened [moving to PSG], happened. Everyone now accepts it. A long time ago, you couldn't imagine it, but it happened. Life itself, you never know what happens. What is important is he'll be happy there in Paris."
In typical Pep Guardiola fashion, the Catalan manager was quick to point out that it his not his place to try and describe Lionel Messi as a player, or their relationship off the pitch - his footballing talents do the talking.
"I think this type of player speaks for itself on the pitch, I don't have to add anything else. We were fortunate to see him during these 16 years, Messi speaks for itself. Not have to describe him or talk about him."
He continued, "His career is exceptional. Hopefully tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game."
Lionel Messi will likely play a key role in the French side's quest for revenge, after being knocked out by the Blues at the semi-final stage of last season's competition.
However, after an unexpected draw in their opening group game, PSG are already looking up at the Premier League champions.
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