Inter Miami player and Argentine national team star Lionel Messi has recently shared his thoughts on Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, stating that the renowned coach has "caused a lot of damage to soccer." According to the Spanish media outlet Movistar Plus, Messi believes that many coaches are trying to imitate Guardiola's style, leading to a shift in the dynamics of the game.
Messi and Guardiola had a successful period together at Barcelona from 2008 to 2012, during which the team was widely praised for playing what many consider the most beautiful soccer in the history of the sport. In his candid remarks, Messi criticized the widespread belief that copying Guardiola's tactical approach guarantees success.
"Guardiola has done a lot of damage to soccer. Everyone thinks it will be easy if they copy his style. But, of course, that's not the case," Messi emphasized, shedding light on the complexities and nuances of the game that go beyond mere imitation.
When asked about Guardiola's status as the best coach in soccer history, Messi acknowledged the manager's exceptional qualities. "There is no doubt that Guardiola is very special. Especially the way he watches every game, the preparations for the match, and the way he exchanges tactics with you," Messi said, highlighting Guardiola's keen analytical skills and strategic acumen.
Guardiola's coaching journey has been illustrious, starting with his successful tenure at Barcelona from 2008 to 2012, followed by a spell at Bayern Munich from 2013 to 2016, and currently managing Manchester City since 2016.
His impact on the tactical landscape of the game and the pursuit of excellence in soccer management has been profound, earning him admiration but also, in Messi's view, contributing to a potentially detrimental trend of imitation rather than innovation.
The debate surrounding Guardiola's influence on soccer continues to shape discussions within the soccer community. Both Messi and Guardiola changed modern soccer and will remain inscribed in soccer history. Two true icons of this sport.