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Pep Guardiola’s advice on substituting Messi



Lionel Messi has been at the centre of a storm in France after appearing unhappy when he was taken off during Paris Saint-Germain’s win over Lyon on Sunday, as he left the pitch with the scores locked at 1-1..

A brief exchange with coach Mauricio Pochettino on the sidelines took over social media, with the Copa America winner looking to be annoyed with the decision.

Now, Pep Guardiola’s words to Alejandro Sabella in 2012 could be applied to Pochettino. Asked then about Messi’s fortunes under Sabella with Argentina, the Catalan had some words of wisdom.

“You have to say very little to Leo,” Guardiola said.

“Protect him on the pitch with players who make his job easier for him.

“Listen well to what he says and don’t forget that he should never be taken off the pitch. Not even at the end to be applauded.”

It has since emerged that Messi was withdrawn due to a knee problem.