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'Maybe at Sevilla' - Sampaoli jokes he still hopes to coach Barcelona star Messi

Goal.com logo Goal.com 04-04-2017
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Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli has reiterated his hope to coach Barcelona star Lionel Messi at some stage in his career.

Sampaoli has previously spoken of his desire to work with Messi and he is reportedly one of the leading contenders to replace Luis Enrique as Barcelona coach next season.

He has also been mooted as a successor to Edgardo Bauza with the Argentina national team and, ahead of Sevilla's trip to Barcelona on Wednesday, Sampaoli joked he looked forward to even managing his compatriot one day.

"It's always a pleasure to see Messi, seeing the best player in the world who's also Argentinian is always enjoyable," he added.

"When I said I'd manage Messi at some point maybe I meant it'd be at Newell's in Rosario when he goes to play there."

When prompted by a reporter that it could be at Sevilla in a couple of years, Sampaoli replied "or maybe at Sevilla, yes, hopefully!"

Sampaoli's men are winless in their last five games in all competitions, all but extinguishing their hopes of mounting a title challenge and ending their Champions League dreams.

Yet the 57-year-old claims his players are not fazed by visiting the ground where Barcelona have scored 17 goals in their last four league games.

"It’s very difficult to imagine going there and winning, but it's also very exciting and as a group we always go into this type of game talking about where we are and why," he told a media conference.

"We won't go into it thinking about challenging for the league - an objective that we were close to at one point but that got away from us - but there's always the simple pride of pulling on the shirt and playing for that regardless of who or where we play.

"No, the idea is play with courage and bravery and not to let recent results reflect on the style or performance of the team.

"What we need most now is conviction and to rebel against a bad run that all teams find themselves in at some point over such a long season, to look forward and be optimistic about everything that's yet to come and turn these results around."

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