After Lionel Messi helped crush his team’s hopes of entering the Champions League finals, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola still gave heaps of praises for his former protégé.
“Messi is just incredible, really strong, really fast, back to his best just as when I used to train him,” Guardiola said of the Barcelona forward. Messi worked under Guardiola when the latter served as the Barcas’ coach from 2008 to 2012.
The 44-year old manager went on to compare Messi to football legend Pele, noting their similar playing styles. Messi did not score in Tuesday’s semis match, helped set up teammate Neymar’s first goal of the night, which served to kill Bayern’s chances of a finals seat. Neymar then went to score a second goal to put the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Bavarians’ campaign.
Guardiola also praised his counterpart Luis Enrique for his brilliant plays during the match. He also said that Enrique’s squad are very strong both in the front and the back, noting that they would have had a better chance in keeping up was if they had forced Barcelona into a running match.
Barcelona routed Bayern 3 to nil in the first leg of their semis match, but Guardioala and his men managed to wrangle a 3-2 victory in Tuesday’s second leg. However, the Barcas still move to the finals with a 5-3 aggregate.
Despite the disappointing end to their Champions League campaign, Guardiola was still very cool of the outcome. He congratulated hisx players for what he says is a job well done, despite all the issues that they had to face this season. Bayern only managed to snag a single title this with their victory in the Bundesliga.
Guardiola also said that there will be a lot of work that they have to do this summer to get back to their winning form.