Samir Nasri has spoken of the time Pep Guardiola asked his Manchester City players a question about Lionel Messi in the dressing room ahead of his first season in charge.
Guardiola was the manager of Messi at Barcelona for four years, and the pair enjoyed unmatched success.
During that period, the La Liga giants became one of the best club teams in history, winning 14 major trophies while playing Guardiola’s tika-taka style of football.
Messi was at the heart of that team, scoring 211 goals and notching 92 assists in the 219 games he played under Guardiola’s management at the Nou Camp.
Since that time, Messi has remained arguably the best player in the world, while Guardiola has failed to win the Champions League without the Argentine superstar.
He clearly still regards Messi highly and has even made reference to his relationship with him in order to make a point about City’s team selection.
In 2016, the Catalan coach was named City boss and has led them to three Premier League championships in four years.
He is well-known for rotating the stars he loves, like Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.
What was your man in the match during PSG’s win against Manchester City? Let us know in the comments section…
According to Nasri, the legendary manager asked a question about Messi to make clear no-one was immune from being dropped.
“He spoke to us about Messi at the start of the [2016-17] season to get a message across,” Canal+ was informed by Nasri.
“He told us he would be our friend, up until the first matchday of the season, at which point he would have to make choices. Some players were going to be unhappy.
“He asked us in the dressing room, ‘Is Lionel Messi in here?’. So we all looked at each other, and said, no, he isn’t here.
“‘So you don’t have the right to talk, because he’s the only player I would never put on the bench, he’s allowed to sulk’.”
Guardiola was given another reminder of Messi’s quality on Tuesday night when he sealed PSG’s win over City with a magnificent goal.
And Nasri believes that Guardiola’s point about Messi being the only player allowed to sulk about selection was spot on.
“Messi is someone that he greatly appreciates,” The ex-midfielder added.
Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?
Get the Daily Star email newsletter for football news and updates!
Get the most recent transfer news and agenda-setting stories in your inbox.
How do I sign up?
It takes only seconds.
Just type your email address in the box at top of the article and click’subscribe.
That’s all. Each morning you will receive an email containing all the most important news stories.
Click this link to learn more about our email newsletter.
“They benefited from each other as he started him through the middle, and Messi won him titles – so they have that kind of relationship.
“I would agree what he said because at Barcelona Messi was unplayable, he’s in the discussion for best player of all time. He has the right to not be happy, to come on or come off.”