Former Barcelona boss and current Manchester City overlord Pep Guardiola credits Lionel Messi’s management of effort for his continuing success. Great players, as they age, continue to learn and adapt to their aging bodies. It does appear that Messi is learning to contain his efforts in short bursts.
“Stars need to run like anyone else, if not the team can’t cope, you need to convince them to run. Sometimes, you say to them ‘I won’t make you run 40 metres like the 20-year-old athlete in the team, but give me a reason not to run’.
“If someone doesn’t run, but scores three goals every game I can buy that, but nobody scores three goals a game, only Messi comes close.
“Right now, you need to ask Messi to make short bursts of effort. He can’t run for the sake of running, no way. If Leo ran like he ran in his first season with me he’d be injured every three months. Managing legends of 30 and above is the hardest thing for a coach.”
Pep Guardiola | Source
This comes off the back of another legendary Messi performance in Barcelona’s 5-1 demolition of Real Valladolid. Beautiful passes and even more gorgeous offensive solo moves on the ball. His effort being contained in certain time frames is certainly helping him out this year.