Lionel Messi's training ground fight which saw Pep Guardiola intervene – The Mirror

Lionel Messi blossomed into arguably the world’s greatest ever player under Pep Guardiola when the two were together at Barcelona but the coach had to intervene in a training ground fight with the Argentine
Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola have shared a close relationship across their careers following their remarkable levels of success at Barcelona.
Guardiola was in the Camp Nou hotseat when Messi began to establish himself as a truly world class player, with the two winning three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns together.
The two remain hugely complimentary of each other, with Messi hailing Guardiola as "having something special" while the Manchester City boss has claimed the Argentine is the world’s best ever footballer.
Yet Guardiola has had to enforce his authority over the Argentine in the past, not long after he was instilled as the Catalan club’s first team boss back in 2008.
Rafael Marquez – a former Mexican international who spent years at Barca between 2003 and 2010 – has now revealed an anecdote of a fight he had in training with Messi.
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He claimed that the Argentine superstar’s actions during a training ground match were inflammatory, and this led to the two players clashing on the pitch.
This led to Guardiola having to step into the situation and give Messi a telling off, with the coach putting his foot down and bringing an end to the argument between his players.
Marquez told American Spanish language sports channel TUDN: "They gave him (Messi) the ball and he began to mock one player and then another with his tricks, then he reached the goal and did not score.
"You will know that I don't like to lose at anything, even in playing marbles.
"I scolded Leo because he did not pass the ball to anyone and he did not score, to which he responded angrily and then we started arguing.
"Pep then came in and shut Leo down, which ended the argument."
Marquez also claimed in the interview, perhaps unsurprisingly, that Guardiola was the best coach whom he ever played under throughout his playing career.
The Mexican did add that one aspect of Guardiola’s career which may be inferred as a drawback is the fact that he “works too much” when thinking about football.
Marquez added: "I had very good coaches, from Ricardo La Volpe, Didier Deschamps, Guardiola…it is difficult to say.
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"But if I had to choose one it would be Guardiola.
"He is a perfectionist, how he thinks about the games, how he works every day – he works too much."
Guardiola’s methods certainly worked a treat for both Barca and Messi, with both establishing themselves at the top of European football following the coach’s appointment in 2008.
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