Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola confirmed that Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain was a surprise to everyone, and he hoped that the Argentine star would participate in the confrontation between the two teams in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.
Messi joined Saint-Germain in August after leaving Barcelona because the Spanish club, where he spent his entire career, was unable to renew the striker’s contract.
Messi, 34, suffered a bruise in his left knee last week, which raises doubts about his participation against the team led by his former coach in Barcelona Guardiola.
Guardiola told reporters, commenting on Messi’s departure from Barcelona, ”It was a surprise to everyone. What happened happened and everyone accepted it now.”
“A long time ago it was unimaginable, but this is life and you don’t know what might happen and the important thing is for him to be happy in Paris,” he added.
“I think he speaks for himself on the field and I should not add more to him and we are fortunate to watch him for 16 years. His career is exceptional and we hope that he will be able to play tomorrow for the benefit of the sport.”
And the dangerous attacking line of Saint-Germain, consisting of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, poses a threat to the City defense.
Guardiola admitted, “I don’t know how to stop them. The trio is very good and we have to defend well without the ball. We will face exceptional attackers on an individual level, they get along well and everyone knows that.”
“They can do anything to attack and move in any direction and talent cannot be stopped.”
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