Messi heaps praise on Guardiola

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has hailed Pep Guardiola's influence on the club.

Lionel Messi

While the Argentina international has been widely credited for the successes of the Catalan giants, Messi chooses to deflect the attention unto Guardiola.

"Barcelona would not be the same without Guardiola," Messi told Fox Sports. "I would never change Barcelona for anyone else."

Messi, who netted a staggering 53 goals in all competitions last season, also gave his views on the rivalry between Madrid and Barcelona.

"I don't pay much attention to what he [Jose Mourinho] says," he added. "Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best in the world, alongside Xavi and Andres Iniesta."

Barcelona kick off their defence of the Champions League on Tuesday with a mouthwatering clash with AC Milan.

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