Pep Guardiola took over as Barcelona manager in 2008 and during the four-season run led the Blaugrana to a fantastic period of success. Which included three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey wins, and two Champions League triumphs.
Leo Messi has been a fantastic player under Guardiola
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag said Barcelona star Leo Messi has not reached that level since Pep Guardiola left Camp Nou in 2012. Guardiola took over as Barcelona manager in 2008 and during the four-season run led the Blaugrana to a fantastic period of success. Which included three La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey wins, and two Champions League triumphs. Messi also experienced an extraordinary run of individual success during this period, winning Ballon d’Or for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012. During Pep’s final season at Camp Nou, the Argentine also reached his maximum career in goals in the league, scoring an incredible 50 times in 37 matches of La Liga in 2011-12.
The Argentine drop his level several times
Since Guardiola left Barcelona, he has won the Champions League only once in eight seasons, with Messi winning Ballon d’Or twice in that time – although Barca has won La Liga five times. Ten Hag believes that during the reign of Guardiola, Messi could be more of a team player. Under subsequent coaches, the Argentinean saw his level drop several times lower, where he was under the Spaniard. “Messi was one of the leaders, but he also worked in a team and, as a result, succeeded. He’s never been as good as under Guardiola, “Ten Hag told reporters. Barcelona hasn’t won much in recent years in European terms.” Messi is still ahead, but now and occasionally goes through the lower limit. It was never like that under Pep Guardiola.
After leaving Barcelona, Guardiola led the Bayern Munich ahead of the 2013-14 campaign. In Bavaria, Ten Hag had a chance to work with Guardiola, as the Dutchman trained the reserves of Bavaria. Ten Hag will leave to become Utrecht head coach in 2015. Guardiola would also depart Germany next season, taking over Premier League giants Manchester City. After Ajax launched the impressive 2018-19 campaign. During which they won the Eredivisie and advanced to the Champions League semi-finals. Ten Hag was associated with managerial positions on some of the biggest sides of Europe.