Lionel Messi played down
his impact at Barcelona on Monday, saying coach Pep Guardiola is
more important to the Catalans.
The Argentine three-times World Player of the Year scored
twice at the weekend to move to within five goals of the club's
all-time top scorer Cesar Rodriguez, who netted 235.
That followed his five-goal masterclass against Bayer
Leverkusen in the Champions League last week, yet Messi lays the
credit for his and the club's recent success at the feet of
"Pep is more important to Barcelona than me," Messi told
reporters. "Since he arrived he has changed everything for us.
He has won everything there is to win."
Guardiola, who has preferred to renew his contract on a
year-by-year basis since arriving at the post in 2008, has yet
to commit himself beyond the end of the season.
The former Spain and Barcelona midfielder has led the
Catalan side to 13 trophies since he took the helm, including
two European Cups and three consecutive league titles.
"We want him to stay for the good of everyone," Messi
continued. "It would be very difficult to find another coach and
to do what we have achieved with him, to win what he has won and
to play the way he has made the team play."
Messi's double against Racing Santander took his tally in
his last six matches - five for Barca and one for Argentina - to
16. He has already scored 50 goals in all competitions this
season, three behind last year's personal best, and records
continue to tumble even though he is still only 24.
"I am not trying to be the best in history nor the best
player of the moment," Messi added.
"I just play to try and do things well. First I play for the
team, then for the fans, and then for me. I feel good when
everything works out the way I want.
"We always focus on the team, without them none of what I
have achieved would have been possible.
"It wasn't my plan to try and reach Cesar's record this
season. I am very close, there are plenty of games left, but I'm
not thinking of a particular date to reach it."
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