Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola names his ‘most difficult rival’

Pep’s illustrious career

When Pep Guardiola finally calls time on his managerial career, the Spaniard will no doubt go down as one of the footballing world’s greatest tacticians.

The former midfielder has dominated the game wherever he has gone, winning a whole host of trophies along the way.

Guardiola, of course, began his illustrious managerial career with Barcelona, quickly seeing the Blaugrana to three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues, and a number of domestic trophies.

Pep then went on to dominate the German game with FC Bayern Munich, before making the switch to England.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 09: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (l) and Pep Guardiola react during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Guardiola names toughest rival

The Spaniard has since transformed Manchester City into one of the most feared sides in world football.

And whilst they may have slipped up a bit this term, there is no question that Guardiola’s run at City has been sensational.

Spells at Barca, Bayern and City have, obviously, seen Guardiola face the majority of Europe’s top sides and managers on at least one occasion.

This has, in turn, resulted in the 49-year-old drumming up a number of fierce rivalries down the years, one of the more notable of which came against Jose Mourinho.

However, when questioned on the subject during a recent interview, Guardiola didn’t name any of Mourinho’s sides as his ‘toughest rival’.

Instead, the City boss opted for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team of the last two seasons:

“Yes, by a big margin, the toughest rival I have faced in my career was the Liverpool team of last year and this season.

“It dominates all the records. If you allow them to dominate you, they will cage you in the area and you don’t come out. When you dominate them, they run finding spaces like no one else does.

“They are very fast at going back. They are very strong in terms of strategy. Their players are mentally very strong. It’s the rival that I’ve had to think more about how to beat them.

“If you ask me which team I’ve had more difficulty to decipher and deal with, that’s Liverpool. The first few years when I arrive to England, Liverpool was a little smaller than it is now and Real Madrid was much stronger. Now, this Liverpool is the toughest that I’ve encountered in my career as coach.”

Quotes via ESPN.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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