Samir Nasri has revealed that Pep Guardiola questioned the Manchester City players about Lionel Messi in their dressing room ahead of his first season in charge.
Guardiola spent four years at Barcelona, managing Messi, and leading the Catalan giants to 14 major trophies while playing their famous tiki-taka brand of football. Messi was at the heart of Guardiola's team, scoring 211 goals and providing 92 assists in 219 games.
Nasri revealed that the Spaniard told his squad that they weren't allowed to sulk if they weren't playing, and that Messi was the only one who was allowed to be disgruntled if he wasn't picked.
"He spoke to us about (Lionel) Messi at the start of the (16/17) season to get a message across," Nasri recalled, as per Get Football News France.
"He told us he would be our friend, up until the first match-day of the season, at which point he would have to make choices. So some players were going to be unhappy.
“He asked us in the dressing room, 'Is Lionel Messi in here?'. So we all looked at each other, and said, no, he isn’t here. 'So you don’t have the right to talk, because he’s the only player I would never put on the bench, he’s allowed to sulk'.
"Messi is someone that he greatly appreciates, they benefited from each other as he started him through the middle, and Messi won him titles – so they have that kind of relationship. I would agree what he said because at Barcelona Messi was unplayable, he’s in the discussion for best player of all time. He has the right to not be happy, to come on or come off."
Messi was linked with a reunion with Guardiola at City this summer after leaving Barcelona as a free agent. But the six-time Ballon d'Or winner ended up joining Paris Saint-Germain and scored against Guardiola's City in the Champions League on Tuesday night.