Lionel Messi has “never been as good” as he was under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, according to Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.
The Argentina international won the Champions League twice and picked up three La Liga titles during Guardiola’s spectacular four-year stint in charge of the club.
Ten Hag reckons Messi “still excels” but is not as good as he was while Guardiola was at the helm at the Camp Nou.
“Messi was one of the leaders, but he also worked for the team and excelled as a result. He has never been as good as under Guardiola,” he said.
“Barcelona has not won much in European terms in recent years either.
“Messi still excels, but now also occasionally goes through the lower limit. It was never like that under Guardiola. Pep has guts, he dares to be pioneering and innovative.”
Source | Voetbal International
Messi has gone on to pick up countless titles and records since Guardiola’s departure but has only been able to add one more Champions League to his collection.
Ten Hag knows Guardiola pretty well from working with him at Bayern. The Dutchman coached the Bundesliga team’s reserve team while Pep was in charge at the Allianz Arena.