Mou snubbed! Pep Guardiola claims Jurgen Klopp is his greatest rival and praises the Liverpool boss for ‘making him better’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has declared that Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp is the greatest rival he has faced in his coaching career.

Guardiola comes to face-to-face with Klopp on Saturday when City host Liverpool, and the Catalan admitted that the German has been his greatest opponent in his 15-year coaching career, even more formidable than Jose Mourinho, his first great rival.

City have pipped Liverpool to two league titles in the last five seasons – both by a single point – but the Merseysiders came out on top in the 2022 FA Cup semi-final and a Champions League quarter-final tie in 2018, as well as romping to the Premier League title in 2020.

The Man City boss told reporters: “Yep, by far [Klopp is his greatest rival] because we faced each other a thousand million times.

“Absolutely, he made me better, him and his teams, here and Dortmund, always been big rivals, good games for both, positive approach and always attractive.

“He made me a better manager through his teams, and of course the way the play is good with the transitions, the runs, they are a fantastic team, a top side, no doubt.”

Mourinho had a bitter rivalry with Guardiola stemming from an ill-tempered Champions League semi-final tie between Inter and Barcelona in 2010.

The tension between the two managers was raised further when Mourinho became coach of Real Madrid, facing Guardiola’s Barcelona four times in the space of two dramatic weeks in 2011, with the Catalans winning the La Liga title and a Champions League semi-final tie. Madrid reclaimed the Spanish title in 2012 and Guardiola then quit as Barca coach.

The pair would meet again in the Premier League when Guardiola became City boss in 2016 and Mourinho took over at Old Trafford. But Guardiola came out on top as the Sky Blues romped to two Premier League titles, while the Portuguese was sacked by the Red Devils in 2018.

Klopp and Guardiola have faced each other 28 times, in the Bundesliga, Premier League and Champions League, with the German winning 11 of the matches and the Spaniard 10.

City host Liverpool on Saturday hoping to stay on top of the Premier League.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *