Guardiola should've been Argentina boss, says Menotti

The former Barca and Argentina boss declared the Spaniard as the best coach of the past 30 years, while claiming Lionel Messi is not the best player ever

Pep Guardiola should have replaced Alejandro Sabella as Argentina head coach this summer, according to World Cup-winner Cesar Luis Menotti.

The Albiceleste came close to lifting the World Cup for a third time in Brazil a few months ago only to be thwarted by Germany and an extra-time goal from Mario Gotze in the final.

Menotti, the man who was in charge in 1978 when Argentina lifted the trophy for the first time, believes Gerardo Martino was the wrong choice to succeed Sabella, claiming Guardiola was the ideal candidate.

“Guardiola should have been chosen as the coach of the Argentina team when Sabella left,” Menotti told El Grafico.

“And I would have put three young coaches behind him, learning from him, as thinking ahead for the future.

The Argentine lavished further praise on Guardiola by adding his belief that the Bayern Munich coach is the game’s best manager of the past 30 years.

“I do not know if Barcelona under Guardiola was the best team ever, because you have to compare it with Ajax in the 1970s, but it was the best team of the past 30 years, sure. And Guardiola is the best coach in the past 30 years.”

Menotti was also glowing in his assessment of Lionel Messi, Guardiola’s star pupil while in charge at Camp Nou.

“If Messi was not the best player in the World Cup, Argentina would have not got out of the group stage,” he added.

“I don’t think he was as unbalancing to the team as some want us to believe. The problem was that Messi was without attackers as good as him.

“Messi is amazing, but at the head of the table of greatness is Pele – he was the best. He was out of this world.”

Messi is hoping to win his fifth Ballon d’Or after being named alongside Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer on Monday as one of the final three competitors for the prize.

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