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‘He's beaten me a lot’- Pep Guardiola names Jurgen Klopp as his biggest rival

Published: Updated: 10:15, 8 Dec 2023
The Manchester City manager ranked Sir Alex Ferguson as greatest manager of all-time and predicted who can be next big manager among current crop of players

Pep Guardiola, a name synonymous with football management, recently shared his thoughts on his toughest rival and the greatest manager in history. The Manchester City boss also revealed insights into his career and potential successors from among his current players.

Guardiola has faced numerous formidable opponents throughout his illustrious managerial career. However, he singled out Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp as the most challenging adversary. This rivalry has been marked by intense matches and strategic battles that have captivated sports fans worldwide during an exclusive fan Q&A with Sky Sports presenter Adam Smith.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager, said:

"[The first reason why Klopp has been my toughest rival is because] we've faced each other 1,000 million times,"

"Second, because he's beaten me a lot and that [has] always been a challenge, to face him again and again and again. So, we respect each other - at least, from my point of view, I respect him a lot.

"Of course, we have arguments and I don't like to be beaten by him, but he's been my biggest rival [because of the] amount of times we [have faced each other] and the pleasure when you beat him - because you know how difficult it is."

Guardiola holds former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in high regard, hailing him as the greatest manager in history. He attributes this to "the amount of titles he won, the change and consistency" that Ferguson brought to football during his tenure at United.

When asked about being considered among the best managers ever, Guardiola humbly responded: "I'm still [working]. When I retire, I don't know where people will [consider me among the best managers in history]. You still have to finish your career."

In a managerial journey spanning over 16 years with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City - amassing an impressive haul of 36 trophies - Guardiola revealed that everyday moments often overshadow silverware for him. This perspective underscores how much he values day-to-day interactions and growth within a team beyond just winning titles.

Several of Guardiola's former players have transitioned into elite management roles themselves. Mikel Arteta and Vincent Kompany now compete against their former mentor in the Premier League while Xavi Hernandez manages Barcelona overseas alongside Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen.

Guardiola predicts Gundogan to be next big manager after retirement

Guardiola believes that Ilkay Gundogan, a former Manchester City player, has the potential to become a successful manager. He stated with certainty, "Ilkay Gundogan, for sure, 100 per cent." This endorsement is based on his belief in Gundogan's communication skills and understanding of the game.

Pep Guardiola added:

"Gundogan would be good. He communicates really well, he's respected and has passion. I'm pretty sure it's going to happen. I would love it [if it does].

Pep Guardiola's insights into his career and views on football management provide an intriguing perspective for sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts alike. His humility despite his success and respect for fellow managers reflect the values that have made him one of the most respected figures in football today.

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