Lionel Messi believes Pep Guardiola can lead Manchester City to Champions League glory.
Barcelona’s brilliant Argentine forward says the runaway Premier League leaders are the biggest threat to his hopes of becoming a champion of Europe for the fourth time, along with Neymar-inspired Paris Saint-Germain.
The last 16 kicks off this week, with City facing Basel, while PSG meet reigning champions Real Madrid.
Liverpool takes on Porto, while Tottenham meet Italian giants Juventus.
City cruised through by winning the first five group games and are favourites against Basel
And superstar Messi warned: “Manchester City are one of the strongest teams around, as well as Paris Saint-Germain.
“I also do not exclude Real Madrid in terms of quality and experience, even though they have not yet achieved the expected results.
“Then there’s Bayern Munich, another great team who will play until the end. Today, however, the best are City and PSG.”
This knockout phase could reunite Messi and Guardiola, who left Barca in 2012 (Image: Getty)
City are yet to progress beyond the semi-final, and bringing in Guardiola was designed to take them all the way to glory.
The Blues have had a favourable draw, being pitted against the Swiss club who finished second behind Manchester United in their qualifying group.
Barcelona meet Chelsea for a place in the quarter-finals, with the first leg at Stamford Bridge next week.
Real Madrid are after a third straight European Cup but have been struggling recently
United are up against Sevilla, while Bayern Munich have been drawn against Besiktas and Roma travel to Shakhtar Donetsk in the same week.
Source: The Mirror