‘Guardiola has done a lot of harm to football’, but what did Messi mean?

Between two praises addressed to his ex-coach Pep GuardiolaLionel Messi has uttered an equivocal little phrase that has caused a lot of talk in recent hours.

Lionel Messi, PSG

Together, the two men wrote some of the finest pages in the history of the FC Barcelona between 2008 and 2012. Interviewed by the Spanish channel Movistar before the World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain striker looked back on those golden years with nostalgia.

He’s the best coach I’ve ever had. Everything he planned always worked. Over time, you realize that what we built in Barcelona was unique, and will always be. (…) He has something special, especially when it comes to watching and preparing for games and communicating it, the way he conveys it to you“, praised the Argentinian, before slipping, with a smile: “Guardiola hurt football a lot because he looked so easy and simple that everyone wanted to copy him. La Pulga then tried to explain his remarks: “Then I met a lot of coaches who think they are Guardiola and you realize what we did and what it was like.»

From possession football to boredom?

A priori, the seven-time Ballon d’Or therefore regrets that the possession football advocated by his ex-coach has become the norm over the 2010s, which has led to disappointment for several teams who were not sufficiently armed to play like that. One could go further and wonder if Messi does not regret that the predominance of this style has ended up bringing football closer to handball, with a team that tirelessly spins the ball around waiting for a space to be created. In recent years, however, the gradual shift to a transitional game has helped to break the hegemony of this style of play.

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