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Barcelona star Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture recently but he gave a glowing report of this City side with the promise that Pep Guardiola would only make them better.
In an interview with The Sun, Messi said: “City are a great team. They have always been a great team each year we have faced them but now, by having Pep, they will grow more through his work.”
The Argentinian also compared his compatriot Sergio Aguero with Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.
“Kun is a very simple and easy-going person, a great lad and, as a striker, one of the best. As is Luis,” said Messi.
“They are different but, if you want to look at it like that, either of them can decide a game. They are both very decisive.”
Pep Guardiola himself took this weekend as an opportunity to compare Aguero, who was man of the match in Saturday's 4-0 victory over West Brom, with Barcelona’s stars.
As reported by ESPN, he said: "In the box he is at that level.
"He is one the nicest players I ever trained in my career. It is a pleasure for me to work with nice people and Sergio is one of the best ones by far, but to convince him he has to believe how good he is and how we need him."
Another of Pep’s former players, Spanish striker David Villa, has spoken about the effect the boss could have on City.
Villa, now at New York City, played under Guardiola at Barcelona and he believes the City players are lucky to be training under him now.
Speaking to Reuters, he said: "Pep Guardiola is a very special coach. You can learn and improve with him while training.”
"I have always said that after my time in Barcelona, I am a better player thanks to everything he gave me."
"Guardiola is the best manager in the world but I think it is too early to compare his Barcelona side with Manchester City. We have to give him time because I am sure he will make City a great team."
All the stats and facts ahead of City's Champions League clash against Barcelona on Tuesday 1 November.
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