Guardiola rules out Messi move; talks Mourinho rivalry

Date published: Monday 4th July 2016 9:51

Pep Guardiola: Manager coached Messi for four years

Pep Guardiola: Manager coached Messi for four years

Pep Guardiola has ruled out the prospect of being reunited with Lionel Messi at Manchester City, while he has also discussed his rivalry with Jose Mourinho.

Messi was part of Guardiola’s Barcelona side which won three Spanish titles and the Champions League twice, and it has been suggested City could move for the superstar following the Spaniard’s arrival as manager.

But speaking to supporters at his unveiling as City boss, Guardiola admitted he expects Messi to stay at the Nou Camp.

“He is not a bad player this guy, but I’m sorry Messi has to stay in Barcelona for the rest of his career,” he said.

Guardiola arrives at City having won a staggering 22 trophies as manager, however his reputation as one of the best bosses in the world has been questioned by some after his failure to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich.

The 45-year-old believes his time in Germany, where he won three-consecutive titles, was a success, though he admits he still has to prove himself in the Premier League.

“That is why I am here. For the challenge. I proved myself in Catalonia and I proved myself in Germany and now I want to prove myself in England,” he said.

“With my staff and players we want to try and make Manchester City play in a way to make people proud. Then we will see our level. At the end what I want is for our people and supporters – and people who love football – to enjoy and be proud of what we did. I can’t do that alone.”

Guardiola’s unveiling came 48 hours before Jose Mourinho is due to be formally introduced at Manchester United.

The duo developed a heated rivalry while Mourinho was in charge of Real Madrid, and there personal battle is expected to be one of the highlights of next season.

However, Guardiola was quick to try ensure focus remains on the pitch, not on the dugout.

“In England the most important thing in football, the people don’t come to see who the manager is, they come to see how good our players are,” he said.

“I don’t think just this year, in the past as well, there are good managers with Klopp, with Conte, with Ranieri, Mourinho Pochettino, Koeman – but the reason I work here is just to help the players.

“One of my dreams was to play here like a football player and now it comes true as a manager. I come here to learn. I was always curious to know what it is like in England.”

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