FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi gave his first press conference in almost two years as his side prepare to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinal on Wednesday evening.
The game has been given extra interest because it is the first time former Barca coach Pep Guardiola will face his former club after his departure in the summer of 2013.
Guardiola’s time in charge saw Barca and Messi play perhaps their best ever football and claim 14 different trophies, but Messi assured the press that their relation had ended the day Guardiola left the club.
“Since Pep went, we haven’t spoken,” said Messi. “I think we crossed paths in a FIFA gala, but apart from that we haven’t had any relationship. We got on well when he was coach, but we haven’t been in contact since then,” continued the striker, who has scored over 50 goals this season.
Messi said Guardiola, “knows us all well, he was with us for a long time and we went through a lot together and won a lot of titles. He knows all of the players who were here with him and those who weren’t.”
And he had a warning for Barca on Wednesday: “Guardiola studies everything and leaves nothing to chance,” said Messi.
Messi didn’t want to compare Guardiola with current coach, Luis Enrique. “I don’t do that because each of them has their own idea and their own way of preparing for games. One of them will ask for one thing and the other something different. You see differences and similarities, but they both try to be close to the players and maintain them happy,” he said.
The striker was reluctant to say whether the attacking trio he forms alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez is the best in the world, and added that at this stage of the Champions League with such powerful team, it was impossible to say who was a clear favorite for the title.
Luis Enrique also spoke and the Barca coach said he was feeling confident but that knowing Guardiola he would not be surprised if the now Bayern coach made some unexpected changes in his starting 11. Enditem