I played with Messi for seven years at Barcelona but he wasn’t a great friend – we had to be separated during a bust-up

4 months ago 46

A BARCELONA legend – who could soon be their new manager – has lifted the lid on a row with Lionel Messi that forced Pep Guardiola to intervene.

And he insists that both he and the icon Argentina forward were just merely work colleagues and not friends.

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Rafael Marquez became a legend at Barcelona and now coaches their B team[/caption]
AFP
He had a bitter falling out with Lionel Messi while at the Nou Camp[/caption]

The man in question is Mexican icon Rafael Marquez, who is now back at the Nou Camp as boss of their second team.

The 44-year-old, who has been touted as the replacement for Xavi in the Barcelona dug-out this summer, spent seven years playing for the club until 2010.

He won the LaLiga titel four times and the Champions League plus a number of other honours during that period as the then-teenage Messi burst onto the scene.

However, Messi’s continual dribbling in training left Marquez fuming.

He has now revealed how it led to him losing his temper as a huge argument erupted between them.

And he says it got so bad that ex-boss Guardiola, now in charge of Manchester City, had to step in.

Speaking to Yordi Rosada, Marquez said: “We knew that Leo could dribble to three or four players, but sometimes exaggerated it a lot.

“We tried to direct it, saying to him: ‘Here you dribble, here you don’t’.

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“By my strong insistence in these instructions, started a problem between Messi and I.

“We began to exchange words and Guardiola had to intervene to solve the problem.

“Messi and I were not big friends, we were colleagues.”

Marquez had spells with New York Red Bulls, Leon, Hellas Verona and Atlas prior to hanging up his boots in 2018.

Messi, meanwhile, left in 2021 to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer after smashing dozens of records at Barcelona, before moving on to Inter Miami, where he currently plays.

Both players have starred in five World Cups, with the latter leading Argentina to glory in Qatar in December 2022.

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