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Guardiola praises magnificent Messi

After watching Lionel Messi score his second hat-trick in four days to take FC Barcelona through, Josep Guardiola is convinced the Argentinian will break César Rodríguez's club record.

Guardiola praises magnificent Messi
Guardiola praises magnificent Messi ©UEFA.com

Pavel Vrba, Viktoria Plzeň coach
Two incidents decided the game. Milan Petržela had a clear chance early on that he didn't take, and then we had the penalty and red card. We wasted the chance before the opening goal but we're not used to coming under such pressure from a team like this in the Czech league. I don't think it's clear who will get third place after BATE Borisov's draw with Milan. We also have to play Milan at home and still have a chance to reach the Europa League.

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
The most important thing is that we're through to the next phase and evidently in our next game against AC Milan we'll be fighting for top spot in the group. We're very satisfied to be in the next round with a couple of games to spare. European competition isn't easy, especially at this stage of the season. It's normal that you can underestimate opponents but at this level it takes a lot of effort [to win]. Just look at Milan's [result] tonight playing away at BATE. It's always hard and I have to admit that in the past, Kazan and Kyiv were great learning curves for me.

We have to congratulate Leo [Messi] for once again scoring goals. He has scored his 202nd goal [for Barcelona] at just 24 years of age which says it all really. I am convinced he will beat César Rodríguez's club record [of 235] but I don't know if he'll do it this season; it depends on how we do in the rest of the campaign but you can't rule it out.

As coaches, we are here to help players like him and others. I tried to move him closer to the area when I arrived at the club; I knew I had to put him in the centre. [Messi] is also conscious that without his team-mates and the people around him none of this would be possible.