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Pep Guardiola sends message to Lionel Messi ahead of UCL clash

Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola has said he wants Lionel Messi to be part of the Paris Saint-Germain team that will face the Premier League title holders in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Spaniard said he hopes the Argentine manages to shake off his injury niggle so he can face City on the Day 2 of the group stages.

Guardiola also said that he ‘does not know’ how to stop PSG’s lethal front three, Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

The French champions added Messi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma to their ranks this season.

Messi returned to full training at the weekend after missing the last two Ligue 1 matches with a minor injury.

And Guardiola has no doubts about how dangerous a player Messi still is despite his inauspicious start to life after Barcelona – though is still keen to face him.

Asked about Messi winner at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola replied: “Well I think this type of player, Messi especially, speaks for himself on the pitch, so I don’t have to add anything else.

“We are fortunate to have seen him during this 15- or 16-year career, I don’t know how many years he’s been a professional.

“Messi speaks for himself, we don’t have to describe him or talk about him. Just what he has done in his career is more than exceptional and hopefully tomorrow he can play for the benefit of the game.”

Speaking about PSG’s front three, the former Barcelona coach added, “They are exceptional players, everybody knows it. All of them are so good individually and they can combine and connect with each other.

“They are a fantastic team. What can you say about the players that they have? Marquinhos, I’m a big fan of him, Hakimi and all the midfield players: Paredes, Danilo, Herrera’s in good form and Verratti especially.

“And after with the three players up front who can do whatever they want. They can play wide, they can play narrow, they can play one wide left, Messi can play right, can play in the middle, Mbappe can play in the middle, left, right.

‘So they combine really well with each other and they have the quality. In the end, talent cannot be stopped. We have to do it as a team.

“We cannot put pressure on one player to stop the skills and the talent of the players that they have. We have to do it as a team, be compact, and help each other knowing that we are going to have to suffer.”

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