Lionel Messi has said that he watched the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan on Saturday (June 10).
The Argentine icon endured a disappointing European campaign with Paris Saint-Germain, with the Ligue 1 champions crashing out in the last 16. He last won the competition in 2015 with Barcelona.
However, Messi watched this year’s Champions League final, which ended in a 1-0 win to Manchester City. His former Barca boss Pep Guardiola became the first manager to win trebles with multiple clubs.
The 35-year-old touched on the game between the two European heavyweights, calling it a classic (via Albiceleste Talk):
“Champions League final? Yes, I watched it. It was a classic and very difficult final match, and the players’ levels were very high.”
Manchester City came away with the European title after Rodri’s 68th-minute strike proved decisive. It marked the first time the Cityzens won the trophy, capping off a remarkable campaign in which they also won the Premier League and FA Cup.
Messi will not be participating in next season’s Champions League, as the legendary forward will be leaving PSG and heading to MLS side Inter Miami. His Parisians side exited the tournament against Bayern Munich in the last 16. Messi managed four goals and as many assists in seven games in Europe’s elite club competition this season.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola compares Lionel Messi with Erling Haaland
Manchester City’s treble-winning campaign has coincided with a record-breaking debut season for Erling Haaland at the Etihad. The Norweigan arrived at the Premier League champions from Borussia Dortmund last summer and bagged 52 goals in 53 games across competitions.
Haaland broke the record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League campaign, netting 36 times in 35 games. He was Europe’s in-form frontman this season and has earned comparisons with Lionel Messi.
Guardiola was asked whether Haaland shares the same goalscoring desire as his former Blaugrana attacker Messi. He said (via The Guardian):
“In terms of goals and mentality, yeah. But Messi has done it every season in the last 10-15. Erling since he started at Salzburg has got to the same level in terms of goals. It’s almost every game, he scores a goal.”
The Manchester City boss continued by lavishing praise on Lionel Messi as the most complete player he has ever seen:
“One or two every game, he had the chances to do it, but Messi is the most complete player I have seen in terms of vision, dribbles, passes, competitiveness, in many things that are difficult. Hopefully Erling can be so close (to) Leo – that will be great for us and him.”
Lionel Messi has scored 710 goals in 875 club football games during his illustrious career. He managed 211 of them in 219 games under Guardiola. Meanwhile, Haaland has bagged 187 goals in 236 games, so the Norweigan has some way to go in reaching Messi’s goalscoring feats.