Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola says he would never take Lionel Messi away from Barcelona as the Catalan club is the “best place” for the Argentina international.
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Earlier this week, Bayern honorary president Franz Beckenbauer contemplated the idea of signing Messi, 26.
Beckenbauer, who no longer has an influence on the Bavarian club’s transfer policy, said: “Messi and [Franck] Ribery in one team? That would be a special attraction.”
However, ahead of the ‘German Clasico’ against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, Guardiola said he would never try to lure Messi away from his former club.
“If I’d sign Messi? No, no! Barcelona is the best place for Messi,” he said
The Bayern boss also revealed that Franck Ribery faces a longer spell on the sidelines than first expected.
The France international has been ruled out of the Dortmund game with a broken rib, and Guardiola fears that he is facing a difficult challenge to return to fitness in time for the Club World Cup in Morocco in December.
“We only have one month left until the end of the year. We play the Club World Cup towards the end of December, the final in Marrakesh. I just hope, he can play in that competition,” Guardiola said.
With the eagerly-anticipated Dortmund game coming up on Saturday, Guardiola said that despite all of their injuries, Dortmund, who will be without their first-choice back four, “still have very, very good players with enormous quality.”
Some 70,000 Dortmund supporters will be among the capacity crowd of 80,645 football fans in the Westfalenstadion to witness a rematch of the 2013 Champions League final.
“I am convinced that Dortmund will not fear Bayern,” Guardiola said. “They have the best transition play in the world, they have been the Champions League finalists. Their fans, coach and players will not have any fear.”
One Bayern player is expected to get an especially hostile welcome, with former Dortmund star Mario Goetze returning to the club for the first time since his summer move.
“It’s a bit like [Luis] Figo returning to Barcelona,” Guardiola said, recalling the first return to the Nou Camp of Figo as a Real Madrid player in November 2002, when Barca fans threw a pig’s head, rotten fruits and plastic bottles at their former player.
“Goetze had to come back to Dortmund sooner or later. It’s better that it happens now. I’ve talked to Goetze a lot. He is young, but also very intelligent. His head is in the right position. We’ve chatted about restaurants and cinemas in Dortmund and his old team mates and fans.”