The Argentine has been left devastated by the news that the 41-year-old coach will be leaving Camp Nou at the end of the season and wanted to hide his grief from the pressAn emotional Lionel Messi has confessed that he was unable to bring himself to attend the press conference at which Pep Guardiola confirmed his decision to step down as Barcelona boss because he has been left stricken with grief.
Guardiola informed his players that he would be quitting the club at the end of the season before then announcing his imminent departure to the media.
There was some surprise that the Blaugrana's star forward was not in attendance but Messi explained that the occasion would have been too much for him.
"I wholeheartedly want to thank Pep for everything he has given me in my professional career and personal life," the Argentina international wrote on his Facebook page.
"But due to the emotion I feel, I preferred not to be present at Pep's press conference, especially because I knew that they [the press] would have been focusing on the faces of the grieving players and this is something that I did not want to show."
Guardiola, who will be replaced at the helm by current assistant coach Tito Vilanova, has led Barca to 13 titles since taking charge of the club in 2008.