Pep Guardiola claims PSG strike-force is now unstoppable with Lionel Messi ahead of Man City clash in Champions League
PEP GUARDIOLA admits Paris Saint-Germain’s strike force is unstoppable now they have added Lionel Messi.
Manchester City managed to tame Neymar and Kylian Mbappe over two legs in last season’s Champions League semi-final.
But the French giants went out and signed Barca legend Messi on a free transfer during the summer to give Mauricio Pochettino an embarrassment of riches.
Guardiola knows his defence will have their work cut out in the plum group stage tie at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.
He said: “What should we do? I don’t know. This amount of quality I don’t know how to stop them, they’re so good.
“When you’ve got this amount of talent altogether it makes it so difficult to control.
“Defend well when we have the ball and not let them run but it’s so difficult.
“I don’t know if they’re the best in the world – but they’re exceptional, all of them so good individually, they can combine and connect with each other.
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“But we are looking forward to playing the game.”
Guardiola and Messi enjoyed a successful four-year working relationship at Barcelona – where they won the Champions League twice together.
He was sorry to see the Argentine leave the Nou Camp in the summer but believes he made a good choice in PSG.
Pep said: “A long time ago, a few years ago, you could not imagine this but it’s happened, football, life you never know what might happen.
“What’s important is I’m pretty sure he will be happy there in Paris.
Hopefully on Tuesday he (Messi) can play, for the benefit of the game
“I think this kind of player speaks for himself, I don’t have to add anything.
“We’re fortunate to have see him doing this for 15/16 years – or however many years as a pro.
“Messi speaks for himself, I don’t have to describe him. What he’s done is more than exceptional.”
The veteran forward has been nursing a knee injury which has forced him out of recent matches – but was back in training over the weekend.
While it might make City’s job easier if he does not fully recover, Pep insists he would prefer to see him play.
He said: “Hopefully on Tuesday he can play, for the benefit of the game.”
Guardiola confirmed Ilkay Gundogan will miss the trip to France and Sunday’s game at Liverpool with the injury he suffered against Southampton nine days ago.
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