On the verge of becoming Barcelona's all-time leading goal scorer, Lionel Messi says the club's recent run of success has more to do with coach Pep Guardiola's arrival than performances like his five-goal game last week.
Messi followed his five-goal outburst in the Champions League with two more strikes in Sunday's 2-0 victory at Racing Santander to move within five goals of matching the all-time club scoring record held by Cesar Rodriguez.
''Guardiola is more important to Barca,'' Messi said Monday when asked whether he or his coach was more important to the team. ''His arrival changed everything, for (the players) and for the club. Everything that has been achieved was achieved with him. Guardiola is fundamental to Barcelona's project.''
Messi has excelled under Guardiola and his latest scoring outburst took the three-time world player of the year past 50 goals for the second straight season. Since Guardiola took over at the start the 2008-09 season, Barcelona has won 13 of 16 ...