Messi has been in fine form for Barcelona since coming back from his latest niggling injury, scoring four goals in two matches, including a superb hat trick against Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.
"I'm still really impressed with how quick, we played good many times to win the game with personality in the short time".
Luis Enrique's team lead the group with nine points followed by Guardiola's City on four.
Guardiola confirmed Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna will both miss Sunday's Premier League game with Southampton at Etihad Stadium due to injury. "Next time you write this, that he is not in my plans, you can call me or Simon [City's press officer] - you may not have my number but you can call Simon - and we can explain what is the truth". What I saw when he is fit, guys... he's a real central defender. "I like him. But we've tried to take care of him".
"I spoke with Sergio, we talked about that, he was so understanding and helped us a lot from the bench and in the last minutes if the game was close, the last 30/35 minutes and their central defenders were exhausted, I thought Sergio could help us a lot". But it would not be out of the question even for City to win the title, Aguero to win the golden boot, and then for Guardiola to sell him anyway. "We're going to play the way we play with our quality and we did it many times".
It would require a volte-face from Pep that would have the tabloids and most of England chirping with "I told you sos".
"I spoke to Sergio about that, he was so understanding".
Guardiola added: "I watched the Inter game". If we lose I'm guilty, if we win I'm a genius. "We'll just do the same and I'm sure we'll be ready for this game".
"Maybe the result was a bit exaggerated but when you make clear mistakes and you have three players up front like the ones we have, those mistakes are decisive".
And for Guardiola, playing with no striker certainly did not mean sitting back, if only for the obvious reason that City did not have a defence capable of withstanding pressure from an attack of Barcelona's extraordinary prowess. We should just try to focus on the things we did in the past and we want to improve for the future.