Pep Guardiola has on several occasions expressed his gratitude to Lionel Messi for helping him excel in his first season in charge of Barcelona.

The all-conquering Barcelona team under Pep Guardiola won six trophies in a season including the UEFA Champions League, La Liga and the Copa Del Rey.

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Samuel Eto who trailed the Argentine by two in Guardiola’s first season in charge of the Catalans has thrown shade at Manchester City boss and Messi that he was the game-winner for the team in the 2008-09 season.

 “Pep Guardiola has lived his whole life in Barcelona, but in the years I spent there he didn’t understand the squad. He didn’t live the life of our group,” Eto’o told beIN Sports.

“I said to Guardiola: ‘you’ll apologise to me because it’s me that will make Barcelona win - not Lionel Messi’.

“You can ask Xavi, Andres Iniesta and all the others - that was my era. It was me that made Barcelona win and Guardiola would ask me for forgiveness.”

Eto'o, 38, is still playing professional for Qatar SC as he reaches the closing stages of his glittering career.

He is one of the most prolific goalscorers in Barcelona history having hit the back of the net 152 times in 234 games for the Catalan club.