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Messi backing for new Barca boss Vilanova

The 42-year-old was announced as Pep Guardiola’s successor following the former Spanish midfielder's decision to step down from his role at Camp Nou.

Vilanova will officially take over the Blaugrana on July 1, bringing an end to a successful four-year stint, culminating in 15 trophies under Guardiola.

And the Argentina international is confident that the club will continue to pick up silverware with the new man in charge.

"I am staying at Barcelona and I hope that everything will be the same without Pep," Messi told Sport.

"Tito has a completely different personality, but I hope that he remains in charge for a long time. That would mean things are going well."

Messi was full of praise for Guardiola, crediting the 41-year-old for improving him as a player while recalling the week in which the former coach announced his departure.

"Guardiola has helped me develop as a player, especially tactically," said Messi. "He explained things to me that I had never done before.

"It was a difficult week. We lost to Real Madrid, were eliminated from the Champions League, and then there was Pep's departure. It was a real blow."