‘I don’t think for a second about PSG’: Pep Guardiola dismisses thoughts of clashing with Lionel Messi as he says his side’s toughest Champions League game will be against RB Leipzig on Wednesday
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has dismissed all thoughts about his impending reunion with Lionel Messi.
Guardiola will face his former Barcelona star Messi at the end of the month in the Champions League, now in Paris St Germain.
The pair won three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns in four years together at the Nou Camp.
City host RB Leipzig in their opening game in Group A of the Champions League on Wednesday and, after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Leicester, Guardiola insisted it is dangerous to focus on Messi before beating Leipzig.
“Absolutely the hardest game we have will be the first against Leipzig, this is the most important game,” he said.
“I don’t think about PSG for a second. The teams that we will face in the group are so, so difficult.
“Leipzig grew up in Germany, Bayern was unstoppable, but to always be second, third, second, third and fight Dortmund with the quality they have will be a good test. It’s important to get into this test like we played on Saturday.’
Kevin De Bruyne was an unused substitute at King Power Stadium as Bernardo Silva’s goal gave the visitors the win.
The Belgium international has been limited to just 11 minutes this season due to an ankle problem and Guardiola has remained cautious about whether the midfielder can start against Leipzig.
“We’ll see, he made a really good training this week and step by step,” he said.
“We have a deeper squad, Phil (Foden) was there (on the bench), Kevin was there, Raheem (Sterling) and John (Stones) were there. The last two games against Norwich and Arsenal the guys who played have been great. They deserved to play.
‘Everyone contributes. The guys who play well have more opportunities to play. The guys who don’t play well have more problems. The boys have to wait a while – but the moment is coming.’