PSG v Man City: Will Lionel Messi break goal drought against Pep Guardiola's side?

Barcelona, 14 trophies won by Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola
It was one the most successful manager-player relationships of modern times.

Pep Guardiola won 14 trophies at Barcelona together over a period of four years. The pair have been dominating European football for more then a decade.

No player has scored more goals against his teams since Guardiola's departure from the Catalan club, 2012 than Messi.

Guardiola attempted to sign Messi this summer because of their long-standing relationship and Messi’s brilliance. Instead, the Argentine ended up at Paris St-Germain where he will be facing his former manager in Champions League on Tuesday.

Guardiola's transformation starting day one

The current problems facing Barcelona under Ronald Koeman are far from the glory days under Catalan's former coaches, including Guardiola and his successful link-ups with Messi.

Guardiola was promoted to the position of boss of Barca's first team, and was awarded the Treble of trophies.

Messi scored 38 goals in that term, and he totaled 211 goals under Guardiola. This includes an amazing 73 goals in just 60 matches during 2011-12, the Spaniard’s last season as manager.

The pair won three La Ligas and two Champions League titles together - beating Manchester United in each final - as well as two Copas del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups as well as two each of Uefa Super Cups as the Fifa Club World Cup.

Messi stated, "Pep immediately transmitted a tremendous amount of pride in the work, ambition, and hunger." External-link

"He gained our confidence because we could see things being done correctly, and then when results began to flow, the confidence grew."

Pep has been haunted by Messi

After the departure of Andres Iesta, Messi was appointed Barcelona captain in 2018.

They have been in contact since their separation and will be reunited on Tuesday at the Champions League group stage in Paris (20:00 BST).

Messi, six-time Ballon d'Or winner, has never shown mercy in the past.

The Argentine scored six goals against four Champions League teams managed by Guardiola, which is the most for any player competing against the current City boss.

External-link Messi scored two goals in the semi-finals first leg in May 2015. This helped Barca to reach another Champions League final, defeating Bayern Munich who were managed at that time by Guardiola.

Guardiola stated, "Messi has an incredible strength and speed. He is back to his best, just like when I used to train her." He is the greatest player of all time. He is comparable to Pele.

"I am proud of the years that we shared."

Messi won the Champions League title in his last year. Guardiola, however, has not won the competition since last season, when Guardiola's City team was beaten by Chelsea.

The last time they met was in 2016, when Messi scored a hat trick in a 4-0 defeat at the Nou Camp.

Is Messi struggling to settle at PSG

PSG has yet to see Messi in three games.

In the summer, the unimaginable happened.

Barcelona was unable to comply with La Liga's financial fair-play rules and Messi left the Nou Camp.

He was linked to a reunion at City with Guardiola, but instead he joined Mauricio pochettino's PSG as a free transfer. This allowed him to join a formidable frontline with Kylian Mbappe, winner of the France World Cup, and Neymar.

After a stunning transfer window, Cristiano Ronaldo, an old foe, had left Juventus to go back to Manchester United. The Portuguese player has already scored four goals for the Premier League club.

For 34-year old Messi, it has been a difficult start to his life in Paris. He has played in three games and completed the entire 90 minutes once.

For 25 minutes, he was substituted at Reims. The side was held to a surprising 1-1 draw at Club Bruges on their first Champions League group match on 15 September.

Four days later, controversy followed when Messi's name was put up on the substitution board. He was then taken off by Pochettino on 76 minutes. Players on the bench appeared to be questioning the decision.

He hit the bar twice against Bruges, and against Lyon. On Julien Laurens' Euro Leagues podcast, Julien Laurens, a French football expert, said that he could have scored two incredible goals if he was five centimetres lower.

"Unlike Cristiano, going to a club or place he knows, Messi - that's what we all knew – it would take some work. It wouldn't be perfect right away. The front three wasn't going to click immediately and Pochettino had already done a lot of work behind the scenes.

There are many questions. Messi is still part. He was happy to be subbed off. It's hard to believe that he hasn’t met our expectations because he did amazing things. It will happen, I believe.

James Horncastle, an Italian football expert, said: "Man City's perfect for the first goal. Perhaps that's destiny against Pep against Man City.

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