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Pep Guardiola: 'I hope Messi p...

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Pep Guardiola: 'I hope Messi plays against us for the good of the game'

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

03:58 27 Sep 2021


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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he hopes Lionel Messi plays against his side on Tuesday night 'for the benefit of the game'.

City take on Paris Saint Germain at the Parc des Princes in the Champions League as they look to make it two wins in the group so far.

The hosts meanwhile go into the game off the back of their surprising 1-1 draw with Brugge last week.

Guardiola though is not expecting an easy night by any stretch of the imagination, saying they'll have to be prepared to 'suffer' for the duration of the game.

"With this quality I don't know what we can do, honestly.

"They are fantastic team. What could I say with the players they have: Marquinhos, I’m a big fan of him. Hakimi, Paredes, Verratti, especially, and the players upfront - they can play wide, narrow, middle. They combine really well and have quality.

"Talent cannot be stopped. We don't put pressure on one player to stop the talent they have - we do it as a team. We know we will suffer - this level demands this. They are so good and you have to be able to suffer for 90 minutes.

"To control is so difficult. We will try to defend well when we don't have the ball and let them run when we have it.

"They are exceptional players - everyone knows it. All of them are so good. They can combine and connect. We are looking forward to the game and we will play."

After a period of immense success together at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, Guardiola possibly knows Messi better than any other manager.

He has hailed the six-time Ballon d'Or winner as an 'exceptional' talent and hopes he recovers from his knee injury in time for the game.

"This type of player speaks for himself on the pitch. I don't have to add anything else.

"We were fortunate to see him during his 15, 16 years he is a professional.

"Messi speaks for himself. What he has done in his career is more than exceptional and hopefully, tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game."


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Manchester City Paris Saint Germain Pep Guardiola UEFA Champions League

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