Sergio Aguero may have been one of the best strikers to grace the Premier League but for manager Pep Guardiola the Manchester City hitman comes nowhere close to FC Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi in terms of the best players he has coached.

Aguero eclipsed Thierry Henry’s record as the top-scoring non-English player in the Premier League by taking his tally to 177 goals after scoring a hat-trick during Manchester City’s 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa on Sunday. The Argentine also surpassed Alan Shearer’s league record for hat-tricks with his 12th since joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

Asked whether Aguero was the best player he had worked with during his managerial career during the post-match press conference, Guardiola replied: “The best [player] is Messi.”

Another enquiry followed where a reporter asked if Aguero was the best out-and-out striker he had coached, but Guardiola’s reply stayed the same.

The Manchester City boss coached Messi between 2008 and 2012 at FC Barcelona where he won four two Champions Leagues, La Liga crowns, two Copa del Rey titles, two Uefa Super Cups, two Club World Cups and three Spanish Super Cups.

“Messi is [the best] number nine, number 10, number 11, number seven, number six, number five, number four...

“But Sergio, [among] the rest, he is certainly one of them. I said many times, he will die scoring goals. It is his talent,” he added.