Bayern Munich and Germany star Mario Gotze is hopeful Pep Guardiola can lift him to the level of Lionel Messi.
Gotze, who is regarded as one of the brightest talents in world football, hopes the former FC Barcelona boss can have a similar effect on his career as he had on Messi’s at Camp Nou.
"Can Pep Guardiola lift me to Messi's level? It would be great if he manages to do that," Gotze told Sport Bild.
"But like I said, Messi has set the bar incredibly high. You can possibly come close occasionally, but it will be tough to perform at that level consistently. I obviously work hard to improve, though."
Gotze rose to stardom at the World Cup in Brazil after scoring Germany’s extra-time winner in the final against Argentina.
It was later revealed that national team coach Joachim Low asked the 22-year-old, who came on as a substitute, to show the world he is better than the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.
"Messi has proven his entire career at Barcelona that he is at another level. You simply cannot compare me to Messi,” he added.
"He has achieved so many things and has set the bar so high that it is nearly impossible to reach his level for anyone. Messi is something special and simply an amazing player.
"I am often confronted with Low's words, but I think he only said it to motivate me. And that clearly worked out well.”
Despite his young age, Gotze has already scored 62 goals in 187 appearances for Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, claiming seven trophies.
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