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Pep Explains How Important Messi Is To Him

Two-time UEFA Champions League-winning manager Pep Guardiola has explained how important Lionel Messi is to his career, summing up the Argentine's impact with one word.

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The Spanish tactician and Argentine footballer spent four incredible years together between 2008 and 2012 at Barcelona, a period in which they celebrated winning 14 trophies.

While many top players from that Catalan side are credited with providing fans with some of the best football arguably ever seen at club level, it was Messi's influence that inspired Guardiola and his side to unprecedented heights.

During their four-year period of working together, the forward scored 211 goals and assisted 93 times in just 218 appearances, and claimed the Ballon d'Or award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Despite Messi being undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time, Guardiola is often credited with helping aid the playmaker in becoming the superstar he is today, a testimony to the Spaniard's reputation in the sport.

In a recent interview, the Manchester City boss was asked how pivotal Messi has been to the success he has had in his coaching career.

"Everything," he told Telemundo Deportes.

"Messi made me more competitive than my parents did.

"During my time at Barca I had many great players in the team, and without Messi we would have won trophies… but as many trophies as the ones we won with Messi? Impossible."

It is well-known that Messi and Guardiola's relationship in Spain had become strained over time, although the pair did almost reunite in England in 2020, when the player pushed for a move to the Citizens but was not allowed to leave the Camp Nou by ex-Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Below are 11 players who left Barcelona because of Messi during the Argentine's time at the club: 

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