Lionel Messi snubs Barcelona when naming world's best football clubs

  • Barcelona left off Lionel Messi's shortlist of world's best teams
  • Real Madrid and Man City given nod by legendary forward
  • Special praise reserved for former Barca manager Pep Guardiola
Messi's comments could anger Barcelona fans
Messi's comments could anger Barcelona fans / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has named Real Madrid and Manchester City as the two best football clubs in world football right now.

Messi is approaching the three-year anniversary of his sudden and shock departure from Barca due to their inability to register his contract under La Liga regulations. He then signed a two-year deal at French giants Paris Saint-Germain before joining MLS side Inter Miami in the summer of 2023.

In an interview with infobae, Messi revealed his pick for the world's two best teams at the moment, and risked upsetting Barca fans by vouching for Madrid.

"Best team in the world? Real Madrid, the current European champions. If we talk about results, Real Madrid is the best," Messi said.

However, the Argentine did also reserve special reservation for former manager Pep Guardiola, who has hoovered up trophies during his time with City.

Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola
Guardiola managed Messi for four years / Michael Steele/GettyImages

"If we are talking about performance-wise, Manchester City, led by Pep, is the best," Messi added.

Guardiola's City were knocked out of this season's Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Madrid on penalties following a thrilling 4-4 aggregate draw over two legs. This marked the end of the Cityzens' European title defence, with Madrid going on to eliminate Bayern Munich in the semi-finals before beating Borussia Dortmund in the final.

Messi and Guardiola were close to reuniting in 2020 when the forward asked to leave Barcelona and City were the frontrunners for his signature if a move away materialised, but he stayed put at Camp Nou for one more season until his contract expired.

After departing Barca, Messi won the FIFA World Cup with Argentina in 2022 - a victory which helped him claim a record seventh Ballon d'Or - while interest in Major League Soccer has grown since joining Inter Miami.