"Everyone wanted their teams to play like Guardiola's"

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Leo Messi, in an interview with 'clank_media', recalled how he learnt tactics under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona. The Argentina star thinks that the influence of the current Manchester City coach put an end to a certain degree of spontaneity in young talents.

3 weeks ago
Leo Messi has been particularly active in the media since he joined Argentina for the Copa America. Several journalists and programmes have had access to a closer side and the portal 'clank_media' has been one of the most recent to feature his visit. In his chat, published this Monday to coincide with his birthday, he welcomes several interesting statements such as his perspective on Pep Guardiola's influence in the world of football or his problems to integrate socially into a group.
"It confused a bit the Guardiola era. Everyone wanted their teams to play that way. Also the kids at six or seven years old started to be told that they had to play with two touches, fast. I think that, at that age, what happened to me has to happen a little bit. We mustn't take away the spontaneity from the kids either," said Messi.
"I didn't pay attention to tactics and, with Guardiola, I learnt a lot. I started to understand a lot more about the game, about spaces, about ball possession, about managing games with the ball. Football has evolved a lot and, today, it's all very tactical, too tactical. Today, any team with two lines of four, with five at the back, well organised and well worked, makes it difficult for you. In the past, there was much more space. Nowadays, it's much more tactical and physical as well," he reflected.
Regarding his integration into the social group of the Argentine national team, he said: "It is very difficult for me to get into the groups because of the way I am. Rodrigo De Paul helped me a lot. He reminds me a lot of 'Pocho' Lavezzi". This shyness has led him to wonder why he can't be the one to ask others for photos: "I've been asked for so many photos... Why can't I have a photo with Jordan? He's the greatest guy there is".