Lionel Messi: I would like to work with Pep Guardiola again, but…

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Messi however acknowledged that the Portuguese goal machine gave the reason to go the extra mile and bring out the best in him. "He is one of the best coaches in the world", he said.

In a wide-ranging interview with Marca, Messi spoke highly of Pep and while admitting a reunion would be "complicated", he would like the chance to work with the Catalan tactician once more. I do not need to change teams or leagues to set new goals. Cristiano was a great player for La Liga and Real Madrid and they were great battles, but I look at the same thing as always, which is my team, and winning things there, whether he's here or not.

"I love football, but family is above all", the Argentine stated. My challenges are renewed year after year.

However, the all-time record goalscorer of the LaLiga champions offered a rather surprising response when quizzed about his podium snub this, while insisting a UEFA Champions League crown is a top priority.

"I heard the nominees for the Ballon d'Or and I knew I would not be in the fight", Messi told Marca.

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Messi: I love football, but family is above everything

"It was a very healthy rivalry in which the two of us wanted to improve ourselves day in day out to do the best for our team".

The seven-time European champions have now failed to score in four consecutive league games for the first time since 1984, managing three goalless stalemates in the process.

In the individual award department, Messi and Ronaldo have each won the Ballon d'Or five times, creating a duopoly on the award between 2008 and 2017.

This is not the first time Messi has opened up about Ronaldo's departure from Madrid as the Barcelona superstar had said he was surprised by his arch-rivals' move to Turin.

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Since the withdrawal, what little forces remained in the country, retreated mostly to training and the advisory role. It is not clear if U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad or the Afghan government had been aware of Mr Trump's plans.

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