Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has stated that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is the only player in world football who doesn’t need to follow his instructions, Mundo Deportivo report.
The Catalan coach has come under fire in Germany for failing to land a Champions League title with the Bundesliga champions, losing successive semi-finals to Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Step by step, Guardiola is implementing change in Munich and this season he has stressed the importance of his side running off the ball, putting in the extra yards to make a difference.
Speaking out on what he expects from his players this term, the renowned coach stated his team must follow his instructions before pointing out that only one player has the liberty not to - Lionel Messi.
“This year everyone will run as I want them to. I say where they must go, and they will listen. There is only one player in the world who doesn’t need to follow my lead, and that’s Lionel Messi,” he explained.
Lionel Messi in a world of his own:
Guardiola’s praise for Messi is arguably unparalleled in the footballing world, such was the Argentine superstar’s impact on the team during Pep’s reign at the Nou Camp.
The 28-year-old has broken multiple scoring records and the recent European Super Cup triumph over Sevilla was his 26th trophy as a Barcelona player, a stunning feat.
Capable of playing just about anywhere in midfield or attack, Messi has moved out of a centre-forward position previously deployed by Guardiola to accommodate Luis Suarez in his best position.
Normally this would go against most football manuals, yet Messi’s ingenious ability means it doesn’t matter where he plays or what instructions are given, he will always find a way of making the difference.