Lionel Messi substitution: Pep Guardiola's strong 2012 comments re-emerge

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Lionel Messi's start to life in Paris hasn't exactly been electric.

After his blockbuster move from Barcelona in the summer, the Argentinean superstar has failed to score in his opening three games for PSG.

It's a drought that will undoubtedly end soon, but it is still surprising that the superstar is yet to get his name on the scoresheet for his new club.

There was controversy over the weekend as well after manager Mauricio Pochettino hooked Messi off the pitch in a 76th minute substitution.

from his new boss.

Speaking in the aftermath of the narrow victory over Lyon, Pochettino defended his decision to change things up.

"We must make decisions for the good of the team. Sometimes they lead to a positive result and sometimes not.

“These are decisions we need to take. Sometimes it pleases people, or it doesn't. I asked him how he was, and he said he was fine."

Incidents of Messi being taken off for tactical reason are incredibly rare and now, following the controversy over the weekend, comments from none other than Pep Guardiola have re-emerged online.

Back in 2012, while Guardiola was still the man in charge at Barcelona, he offered some advice to then Argentina boss, Alejandro Sabella, who had also come under fire for substituting Messi.

"You have to say very little to Leo," he began, per the Mirror when queried about the incident. "You must protect him on the pitch alongside players who make his job easier for him.

You have to listen very carefully to what he has to say and remember that he must never be substituted off the pitch.

"You must not forget that he should not come off, not even at the end of the game to be applauded by the fans."

If there is anyone who knows how to manage Messi, it's Pep. Together, the pair conquered Europe with ease, redefining everything we thought we knew about the beautiful game.

So, if Pep is adamant that Messi should never be substituted, then maybe that is advice worth heeding.

It's only a matter of time before the goals start to flow for the 34-year-old, but he has to be on the pitch for that happen.

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