If there’s one man best placed to decide which footballers may or may not reach the level of Lionel Messi it’s Pep Guardiola. The Manchester City boss worked closely with Messi and he’s named one man who could reach that level.
In the four seasons before Pep Guardiola became manager of Barcelona Lionel Messi was just starting to make his name in the team and had already scored 52 goals for the team as he began making his reputation as a stupidly talented young player.
Four years later, when Guardiola left the Camp Nou, Messi would have another 211 club goals to his name as well as four of his five Ballon d’Ors and a whole host of medals for the team.
Eventually Messi will have to give up his crown, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, as the best players around and, talking to Goal, Guardiola said it would be difficult for anyone to reach their level but named Kylian Mbappe as the man who could.
“Nobody can sit at the same table as Messi. Maybe Mbappe, he’s a top player, he will be an outstanding player, I’m pretty sure of that. But to equal what Messi has done in 10 or 12 years, or Cristiano [Ronaldo], for example, we have to wait.
“I appreciate Mbappe wouldn’t like me to put more pressure on his shoulders…So, let Mbappe have the fantastic career he will have and after we’ll see in the future.”
Mbappe was the name on everyone’s lips last season and at the beginning of this season too. The young Frenchman helped lead Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and the Champions League semi-final last season.
This summer though he moved back to home town on ‘loan’ although PSG have an obligation to pay €145 million up front for Monaco’s youngest ever goalscorer next summer.
There’s a lot hoped for the 18 year-old now he’s at Paris and has the chance to shine with Neymar in the team as well and they are genuinely Champions League contenders with that strikeforce.
He has started with two goals in two games as well.
It’s a warning from Guardiola that it’ll be difficult but can Mbappe reach Messi levels