Swedish manager Hans Backe has spoken of an incident in which he claims Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi openly defied former manager Pep Guardiola in front of his teammates.

Backe, who has no playing or coaching experience with the Catalan giants but has managed former Barca players such as Rafael Marquez and Thierry Henry during a two-year stint in charge of Major League Soccer outfit New York Red Bulls between 2010-12, claims Messi blatantly went against Guardiola's direct orders prior to a Barcelona fixture in 2009.

"It was three hours before the game when all the players were sitting and eating, and Messi said he wanted a can of coke," the 61-year-old told Sweden's TV4 in an interview that was quoted by Goal.com. 

"Guardiola replied that no player should drink cola three hours before a game. So Messi got up and left, returned a few minutes later with a can of cola and drank it right in front of Guardiola and the rest of the team."

Former Spanish international Guardiola called time on his managerial spell at the Camp Nou in 2012, citing the need to seek a further challenge. Backe meanwhile, expressed his disbelief at the aforementioned incident involving Messi and the current Bayern Munich boss.

"Imagine what would have happened when a player with the profile of Messi goes against the coach in this way?

"It was a war Guardiola could not win; it was impossible," he added.

Barcelona, who are now under the management of popular Argentine Gerardo Martino, have enjoyed a typically blistering start to their latest domestic title defence and currently sit at the summit of the La Liga table after collecting five wins from five consecutive fixtures.

They return to action on Tuesday evening with a home clash against Real Sociedad.

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