Lionel Messi: Man City best to watch but Real Madrid winners

Lionel Messi said he believes his former FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has turned Manchester City into the most attractive team to watch, but he conceded Real Madrid are the best “in terms of results.”

Guardiola guided City to a record fourth successive Premier League title one year after leading his team to win a historic treble — Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

LaLiga winners Real Madrid beat City in the quarterfinals of the Champions League en route to lifting their 15th European Cup on June 1.

Asked who he considers to be the best team in the world, Messi told Infobae: “If you speak in terms of results, it is [Real] Madrid, the current Champions [League] holders.

“If you speak in terms of play, I personally like Guardiola’s City. I think that any team where Guardiola is will be special because of the way he is, the way he trains, the way he works and how he makes his teams play.

“At the level of play for me, City is the best, and in terms of results, Madrid.”

Under Guardiola, Messi won 14 titles at Barça, including three LaLiga trophies, two Champions League and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Messi is currently training with Argentina‘s national team in Miami.

The Inter Miami forward will captain the Albiceleste at the upcoming Copa América that will be staged in the United States from June 20 until July 14.

The 2022 World Cup winners are the current Copa América holders.

“I think that Argentina is always favourite,” Messi said. “When a tournament starts, be it a World Cup, Copa América or whatever, Argentina is a candidate just like Brazil and more so in this Copa América. But I think that today the South American teams are very strong.

Uruguay is very good, as is Colombia and Ecuador. Afterwards it becomes very difficult to play all the games, but I think it will be a very levelled Copa América.”

Messi, 36, admitted that winning the World Cup has given him a sense of fulfillment but life has gone on as normal.

“Obviously having won and having achieved everything at national level, it is different experience, there’s another peace of mind,” he said. “Being world champion felt for me like feeling fulfilled. I achieved everything, I was able to achieve the goals and dreams I had.

“It’s like everything changed, but at the same time nothing changed.

“Yes, we achieved the goal, and obviously it was what we wanted the most, me, my family and everyone.

“But then life goes on. I had to continue in Paris at [Paris Saint-Germain] , [then] I had to live here [in Miami] and continue trying to achieve things, to win.

“Now we have another challenge with the national team, which is to be able to try to win the Copa América.”

Messi, whose contract with Inter Miami expires in December 2025, has not given an indication as to when he will retire from the national team.

Argentinians are hopeful that Messi will play at the 2026 World Cup that will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

“It depends on how I feel, on how I am physically,” Messi admitted.

“I have to be realistic with myself. And know if I am up to the task of being able to compete and help the teammates next to me. There is some time left, and I don’t know how I will be at that moment.

“Age is also a reality that is there, although it is a number, and the games that I am going to play [at Inter Miami] are not the same as the ones I played when I was in Europe. … But it will depend on how I feel, what I feel when I’m next to my teammates and see if I’m still up to par or not.”