Pep Guardiola: Messi makes Barca favourites


Pep Guardiola says Barcelona are favourites for the Champions League because of Lionel Messi.

Man City’s 1-0 victory at Newcastle on Wednesday marked their 18th Premier League win on the trot, putting them 15 points clear at the top of the table.

Man City are fighting on four fronts for silverware this season, and face Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League, but when asked if City are favourites for the competition, Guardiola’s answer was simple.

“Who does [Lionel] Messi play for?” said Guardiola. “Barcelona,” came the reporter’s answer.

“So they’re the favourites,” Guardiola then replied.

Guardiola also insists City were never interested in signing Liverpool-bound defender Virgil van Dijk, who is heading to Anfield on January 1 in a £75m deal.

After Raheem Sterling’s winner at St James’ Park, Guardiola was asked if Van Dijk was a player he was looking at in January, but the Spaniard replied: “Nope. No, no, no.”

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