Munich: German champions Bayern Munich's manager Pep Guardiola believes Spanish side FC Barcelona's talismanic forward Lionel Messi is the "best footballer of all time".
Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola. Pic/AFP
Bayern suffered a 3-5 aggregate defeat despite winning 3-2 at their home ground, the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, to bow out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage.
It was striker Neymar's brace that gave Barcelona, a two away-goal advantage but it was Messi's two goals in the first leg at Barcelona's Camp Nou Stadium which set the La Liga leaders on their way to the final in Berlin next month.
Guardiola believes the Argentina international has recaptured his best form and described him as the best ever.
"He is back, he is there where I had the privilege to train him, he is definitely back to his best. He is the best player of all time, I compare him with Pele. I am so happy to see this football," Guardiola was quoted as saying by mix96.co.uk on Wednesday.
Bayern will have to only settle for the Bundesliga title after exiting the German Cup and the Champions League at the semi-final stage, but Guardiola lauded the efforts of his side and backed his former club to win the Champions League.
"I am very proud of my players,we did everything we could. It's a pity. I hope we can play better next season. I now want to celebrate our Championship before planning for next season."
"Congratulations to Barcelona also, I hope they win their fifth Champions League final in Berlin," he said.