Football

Pep Guardiola tells people not to compare Saul Niguez to Lionel Messi.

Pep Guardiola tells people not to compare Saul Niguez to Lionel Messi

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Saul Niguez scored one of the great Champions League goals for Atletico Madrid in their hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

The Spain Under-21 international picked the ball up about 50 yards from goal and weaved his way past four Bayern Munich players, using only his left foot, before slotting the ball past Manuel Neuer.

It was dubbed a ‘Lionel Messi goal’ - and there’s no doubt the Barcelona superstar would have been proud of it had he scored it.

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However, speaking after the match, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola told reporters that it was in Saul’s best interests for people not to compare him to Messi.

"I don't know him personally but I have a lot of respect for the quality Saul has," the Catalan coach, who coached Messi for four years at the Camp Nou, was quoted as saying by Goal. "But it would be good for him not to compare him with Messi."

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Video: Saul's goal v Bayern

Saul's rise to stardom

Saul began life in the youth ranks of Real Madrid before joining Atletico in 2008.

The Spaniard, who was born in Elche, then made his Atletico Madrid first-team debut in 2012 after a couple of years with the ‘B’ team.

Saul spent the 2013-14 campaign on loan with Rayo Vallecano but returned in the summer, shorty after Atletico had been crowned La Liga champions for the first time in 1996, and earned himself a place in Diego Simeone’s side.

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg

The midfielder has taken the place of Arda Turan, who left the Calderon for Barcelona last summer, and is now performing at an extremely high level week-in, week-out.

However, in order to progress to the Champions League final at the Allianz Arena next week, Saul and his teammates will need to be at their best again - despite their 1-0 aggregate lead.

Guardiola: Bayern didn't deserve to lose

"We have to think about who we are up against. What Saul did can happen," Guardiola added.

"We did not get a goal but you play some games and you get nothing when you don't deserve it, today we maybe did deserve one.

FBL-EUR-C1-BAYERN-PRESSER

"This is not an excuse, just an argument about what I have seen."

Does Saul Niguez have the potential to become world class? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Topics:
Football
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Fernando Torres
Bayern Munich

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