Messi the greatest even without World Cup heroics, says Guardiola | Football News

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has no doubt that Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time and his opinion wouldn’t change even if the striker hadn’t guided Argentina to the Cup title of the world in Qatar,” the Spaniard said on Wednesday.
Messi scored twice and again in the shootout as he led Argentina to a thrilling 4-2 penalty shootout win over France on Sunday, the final ending 3-3 after 120 minutes of action in Breathtaking.
The 35-year-old, who enjoyed a trophy-laden spell under Guardiola during their time at Barcelona, ​​also won the Golden Ball award for best player with supporters saying his performance had further elevated his status.
“Everyone has (an) opinion but no one can doubt that he is there as the greatest of all time,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Thursday’s League Cup fourth round clash against Liverpool.
“For me he is the best, it is difficult to understand that a player can compete with what he has done.
“People who have seen Pelé, Alfredo Di Stefano or Diego Maradona… opinions are sentimental, but on the other hand, if he (Messi) would not have won the World Cup, opinion and mine wouldn’t change.”
Guardiola said City’s 16 players at the tournament will slowly return for the club.
“Today six players came back. They had an incredible and unique experience. I hope they come back and work well and in four years they can have another experience in Canada, Mexico and in the United States,” Guardiola said.
“The players who were at the World Cup are in better condition than the players who were here. Sergio (Gomez), Erling (Haaland), Riyadh (Mahrez) and Cole (Palmer), they are a bit lacking in rhythm compared to Rodri or Manuel Akanji.
“I’m not concerned about March or April. Now every player has had different managers, different competition…we have an important game tomorrow and then (in the Premier League) against Leeds (United). The January schedule is demanding. so we want them back as soon as possible.”


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