Vincent Kompany has encouraged Lionel Messi to quit Barcelona and join his former team Manchester City.
Messi sent shock waves through the world of sport earlier this week when he confirmed his intention to quit the club at which he has cemented his reputation as one of the greatest footballers of all-time.
The 33-year-old is said to have already spoken to Pep Guardiola about a possible reunion and although a deal is some way from being concluded, Messi is said to have eyes only for City and the Premier League should he follow through on his decision to leave Camp Nou.
City legend Kompany, who left the Etihad at the end of the 2018/19 season, believes Messi and Guardiola would form a potent combination in the Premier League and well capable of rekindling their old magic.
‘It’d be incredible for the club to have a player like him — he could help them take the next step by winning the Champions League.
‘I know Guardiola’s way of thinking, so I can well imagine the two of them will still have a rapport.
‘If Messi has decided to leave Barcelona then I can only respect his decision. Let’s be clear — as a City fan, I hope Messi joins them.’
Guardiola’s former assistant at City, Mikel Arteta, who is now the head coach at Arsenal, has also backed Messi to thrive in England and would welcome him on these shores even if it were detrimental to his own side’s hopes of success.
‘If Messi comes to England we’re all going to enjoy it,’ he said. ‘I have been a Barcelona fan since I was a young boy and it’s sad to see the best player in football history leaving that club.
‘He has been linked with more clubs than any other player in the world, but even if he comes to one of our Premier League rivals it will be good for football.
‘If you want to have the most competitive league in the world you need to have the best players. And in my opinion Messi is the greatest of all time.’
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