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Alla Zakarian

30-06-2019 | 19:22 Football
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Pep Guardiola explains why he'd change Lionel Messi's position in Champions League

Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola explains the physical demands of the Champions League led to him changing Lionel Messi's position. The current Manchester City boss lifted the Champions League trophy in 2009 and 2011 with Barcelona. Messi has only lifted the trophy once since Guardiola's departure, when Barca beat Juventus in the Berlin final of 2015. "I think they are there, the right players. They have always been there," Guardiola told Catalan publication Ara on a visit to Barcelona. "I recently said that the two toughest rivals I have encountered in my career are Liverpool this year and Luis Enrique's Barca. "The Champions League is very demanding... the defensive involvement in Europe is very large. That is one of the reasons I played Leo through the middle. I didn't want Leo to experience the physical wear and tear, so he could express his talent in the last 20 metres of the pitch. But at the Camp Nou against Liverpool, he ran like a beast. If they had reached the Champions League final, they would have won."

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