Did Lionel Messi plead with Pep Guardiola to join Manchester City before his transfer to PSG?

Argentine icon Lionel Messi ranks as the greatest player in Barcelona history. During his time in Spain, Messi solidified his status as the world’s best player, especially under the supervision of Pep Guardiola, who is renowned as one of the elite managers in the sport. 

The Spanish manager was an instrumental figure in shaping Messi’s career at Barcelona as the duo together clinched numerous titles and broke records. Recently, it has been revealed that Messi and Pep had discussions about the possibility of a move to Manchester City in 2020, but this could not proceed further.

Did Lionel Messi request Pep Guardiola to sign him?

Pep Guardiola was in charge of the Blaugrana as head coach from 2008 to 2012. During this time, the club witnessed one of its most successful and glorious eras, with Barcelona lifting 14 titles, including the famous treble-winning season of 2008-09.

Lionel Messi was one of the key players in the star-studded Barca team that was considered the greatest of all time, featuring the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, and Thierry Henry. In the same season, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi secured his maiden Golden Ball accolade for his remarkable 57-goal contribution.

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In 2021, Lionel Messi and Barcelona parted ways after nearly two decades as the club couldn’t offer the Argentine a contract extension due to financial obligations, forcing his exit. It was by far the most shocking transfer in history, not only for Barca fans but worldwide.

According to reports, before departing from Camp Nou, Lionel Messi contacted his former boss Pep Guardiola, the current Manchester City manager, to initiate a move to the English Premier League. Messi expressed his desire to leave his boyhood club following a disagreement with the club board, headed by President Josep Bartomeu.

Moreover, it was also claimed in the recently published autobiography of Guardiola ‘God Save Pep’ that Sergio Aguero acted as a catalyst in establishing a dialogue between Messi and Pep for a potential reunion. Pep insisted it would be challenging for Messi. Nonetheless, PSG secured the Barca talisman’s signature as City showed considerable interest.

Who did Pep Guardiola sign instead of Lionel Messi?

Since Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad in 2016, the Spanish tactician has transformed Manchester City into a dominant force across Europe. One of the most esteemed names in the managerial realm, the 52-year-old guided the English side to their first-ever Champions League triumph last season and completed a treble-winning campaign.

Despite having the opportunity to sign one of the greatest players of all-time, Pep Guardiola had other names on his target list. Reportedly, the club prioritized Jack Grealish and Harry Kane as their next potential targets over Messi. They successfully managed to secure Grealish but missed out on Harry Kane. 

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In the end, Erling Haaland joined City as the new striker and has been shattering records in both the Champions League and the Premier League, proving to be one of their best signings in the last decade. Haaland has emerged as one of the best players in the world presently.


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