Manchester, June 9 (IANS) Manchester City’s head coach Pep Guardiola on Friday praised Argentine footballer Lionel Messi calling him the most gifted athlete in the world.
Having managed Barcelona from 2008-2012, Guardiola has worked closely with the 29-year-old striker.
“He is one of the most privileged, gifted athletes of all time, I would like to enter his brain and find out how he can withstand the pressure like he has, with both Barcelona and Argentina on his back.” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the Dailymail.
Guardiola also emphasised on the goal-scoring ability Messi has and said: “The whole world expects him to score three goals and set up three goals in every match. The other players know that they have Messi on their side and will rely on him.”
Barcelona’s decision of roping former Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde as their head coach has also been backed up by the City manager.
‘I am very happy that the club has chosen Valverde as head coach. I spoke to him once and always said to push the forwards,” Guardiola said.
“The leadership must now be in this profile — calmer, providing fewer headlines, letting the results speak. He is a sensible person and he knows a lot about football. I have always liked to see his teams play,” he added.