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‘It’s weird seeing Messi playing for PSG’ – Pep Guardiola

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Pep Guardiola admits it is unusual to see Lionel Messi playing for Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester City boss Guardiola famously led Barcelona to two UEFA Champions League triumphs with Messi at the heart of his side.

Guardiola could face his former player on Tuesday when Manchester City face PSG in a repeat of last season’s Champions League semi-final.

“It was a surprise for everyone (that Messi left Barcelona) but that’s what happened,” said Guardiola. “Everyone now accepts it.

“A long time ago you couldn’t imagine it but it happened. In life itself you never know what happens. I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy in Paris.

“His career is exceptional. Hopefully tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game.”

Messi has missed PSG’s last two games with a knock but trained ahead of City’s visit to the Parc des Princes.

Guardiola is expecting a difficult night.

He said: “With this amount of quality I don’t know how to stop them, they’re so good. This amount of talent makes it so difficult.

“They were a fantastic team last season. It was a tight game. And now they have Messi.”

City produced a memorable performance over two legs to beat PSG in last year’s semi-finals.

Since then the French club have bolstered their already star-studded ranks with the additions of six-time world player of the year Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Achraf Hakimi.

City midfielder Riyad Mahrez said: “PSG have a very good team, more or less the same as last season, adding Messi and (Georginio) Wijnaldum and a few others.

“They are stronger this season, they have a bigger squad. It’s going to be more or less the same game as last season, very tight.”

 

 

Vincent Paul

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