Messi: Barcelona will move on from Pep

Barcelona star Lionel Messi believes that the current squad will adapt to new manager Tito Vilanova and the departure of Pep Guardiola will not affect them too significantly.

Football News: Lionel Messi; Pep Guardiola.

By staff

The 41-year-old won 14 titles in the four seasons during his tenure becoming the most successful manager in the club's history. He gave Messi a chance at regular first team action and mentored him in order to help him become the global superstar that he is today. 

But Guardiola stunned the club by announcing his decision to leave Camp Nou in order to take a sabbatical from football and recharge his batteries. He did help ensure that the season did not go trophyless, however, as his final game in charge saw the Blaugrana win the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao. 

Messi believes that Vilanova can take over and do a good job and dismissed speculation that he was considering a departure from the club in recent weeks.

"I am more than happy at Barcelona and I never thought about switching clubs," he told Expansion. "I am not leaving.

"We will overcome Guardiola's exit and we hope that everything will continue to be the same with Tito, who has the same philosophy and mentality.

"Guardiola and Tito did everything together during these years and I do not think that our everyday work will change much.

"Tito's personality is obviously different, but we will adapt to it and we hope that the results will be similar."

Messi admitted that it was a trying season for the Catalans as they lost out on the La Liga title race and the Champions League within the same week. Their El Clasico loss to Real Madrid on April 21 was followed by their exit from the Champions League three days later as Chelsea defended their one-goal lead from the first leg to reach the final in Munich. 

"Yes, it was a very hard week: losing La Liga, the Champions League and Guardiola in the same week was a heavy blow," Messi agreed.

He believes that Guardiola not only brought success to the club but he changed the dynamics of football as he helped create a novel possession-based tactical system that many clubs are now seeking to replicate. 

"Guardiola's exit is a blow because we were lucky enough to win everything under him and to teach the world how to play a different game.

"But we have to accept his decision because this is what he wanted."

Messi is currently on international duty where he will play for Argentina in their World Cup qualifying match against Ecuador on Saturday. They are currently second in the South American qualifying stage for the Brazil World Cup where they registered a surprise loss to Venezuela so far. 

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