Man City face PSG at the Etihad in the Champions League on Wednesday, and the home side needs a draw to qualify and a win to top the group.
Guardiola undoubtedly knows Lionel Messi better than any other manager, having harnessed his genius as the driving force behind his all-conquering Barça a decade ago.
But he said there is no recipe for coping with the Argentinian attacker, as it’s a case of trying to predict the unpredictable.
La resignación de Pep Guardiola: ‘¿Parar a Messi? Es muy difícil…’ https://t.co/BoOP01DhCU
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“It’s so difficult. Sometimes when he has the ball he doesn’t know what he’s going to do – so imagine you have to know what he is going to do,” said Guardiola.
“There are players who you can say if they will go right or left. When he has the ball, not even he knows exactly what he is going to do.”
But the Citizens will face a PSG team packed with talent, and that air of unpredictability is shared by three more of their attacking players, warns Guardiola.
“I cannot tell the players what he [Messi] will do, but hey, it happens with Neymar and Mbappe, with Di Maria, with all the players upfront in this team.
“Every player could be a complete star in any team around the world, and all four are in the same team.
“But I am still glad and happy that he is still playing, at the level he plays and with the quality, so it will be nice to face him.”
Messi says he will return to Barça one day
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has shared his thoughts on the club’s chances in the Champions League, and of his return to the Camp Nou one day.
“Barcelona are going through a stage of reconstruction with a team in which there are many young players,” Messi told MARCA.
“Today I think there are better teams than Barcelona, but, although they give that impression now, that does not mean that later they will not be able to fight because we must take into account the arrival of Xavi, the renewed hope, and the power to recover some [injured] players that they do not have now. They can keep growing and fighting.
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“He [Xavi] knows a lot and knows the house perfectly, and has lived at Barcelona since he was a child. He has renewed the hope at Barcelona because he is a person [who is] highly respected by the fans and by the players.
“He will be a very important coach for the younger footballers because he will teach them. With him the team will grow a lot. I do not have any doubts.
“I always said that at some point I will return to Barcelona because it is my home and because I am going to live there. And obviously, if I can contribute and help the club I would love to come back.”