BARCELONA, Oct 19 — Pep Guardiola’s formidable managerial skills will be put to the test again when his stuttering Manchester City side visit his former club Barcelona in a top-of-the-bill Champions League clash today.
Barcelona are fourth in La Liga and cruised to a 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, with substitute Lionel Messi scoring on his return from a groin injury that had kept him out for over three weeks. Guardiola has never denied his admiration to Lionel Messi and the Catalan coach told a news conference ahead of today’s Champions League Group C game against Barca that he hopes to see Messi retiring at Barcelona.
“I hope Messi finishes his career here, this is the best place for him but perhaps one day he wants to leave because maybe he wants his children learn English or maybe he wants to live another experience. If it happens, maybe four, five, six or seven clubs will want to sign him but only he will decide.”
The Catalan coach also celebrated the recovery of the injured Messi: “First of all we play against Barcelona and evidently their best player is Messi, I’m happy he’s not injured anymore and he is able to play, it’s a satisfaction to see him playing, I’m happy he’s fine.”
The Catalans are unbeaten at the Nou Camp in the Champions League since 2013. — Reuters