The Argentine forward inspired BarÃƒÂ§a to a resounding Champions League final victory over Manchester United on Saturday night, scoring the La Liga champions’ crucial second in a 3-1 victory at Wembley.
And Guardiola believes the 23-year-old, who has scored 53 goals for the Catalan giants this season, is one of a kind.
“Lionel is the best player I’ve ever seen, probably the best ever,” said Guardiola after Saturday’s final. “He made the difference.
“Messi is unique, a one-off. I just hope he doesn’t get fed up. When he doesn’t play well it is because something is wrong with his environment. Let’s hope he can continue playing well.”
Guardiola gave little away when quizzed over his future at Camp Nou, where he has a year left on his contract.
He continued: “I will say it again, I have another year on my contract and I intend to work it out.
“You have girls falling at your feet when you win but that can change overnight.
“But I have to look inside of me. I am happy to be here as coach of these guys but it is not an easy job.”
Meanwhile, BarÃƒÂ§a captain Carles Puyol will undergo an operation on his left knee on Wednesday to fix a problem that he has been suffering with for over four months.
The 33-year-old Spain defender has been used sparingly since picking up an injury in Barcelona’s La Liga clash with Racing Santander on 22 January.
A club statement read: “Carles Puyol will be operated on at 1400CET on Wednesday, June 1 at the Clinica Quiron to resolve the problems he’s been suffering with his left knee.
“Following the operation, Doctors Ricard Pruna and Ramon Cugat will speak to the media at the Ricard Maxenchs press room at the Camp Nou.”
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