The Manchester City boss has praised the strategy and strength of the team, which he sees as his most impressive opponent
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists that Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp in 2019 and 2020 are the toughest opponents he has ever met as a coach.
Klopp is the only manager who has beaten the Catalans more than they lost. The Red coach won nine of his 19 encounters and Guardiola only eight while not winning five of their five clashes at Anfield.
After a fiercely competitive 2018/19 year in which City defeated its Premier League rivals by just one point, Liverpool was able to assert itself easily this year and secure the first title in 30 years.
“The toughest opponent I’ve ever met in my career is this Liverpool from last year and this one,” said Guardiola DAZN.
“If you let yourself be dominated, they lock you up in the area and you cannot escape. If you dominate them, they run into space like no one else. You go backwards very quickly. You are strategically very strong. Your players have great mentality Strength. [Klopp] is the rival that made me think about how to beat him the most. “
Guardiola had a violent rivalry with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho during his time at Barcelona, but he rates the current Premier League champion as the best team he has ever played against.
“I have always said that Real Madrid are a very strong team in my career. They helped me become a better coach with tough games and competitions with Jose Mourinho.” [Manuel] Pellegrini and all the coaches they had, “he added.
“If you ask me which rival was the most difficult for me, it was Liverpool. In the early years when I arrived in England, Liverpool was a little weaker than now and Real Madrid was stronger. Now this Liverpool is the hardest I am encountered in my coaching career. “
Guardiola’s priority will shift back to Real next week as the newly crowned Spanish champion stands in the way of a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.
While City was 2-1 in the lead after winning the first leg at Santiago Bernabeu in February, Zinedine Zidane has an incredible record in the tournament after winning three times in a row, and Guardiola is full of praise for the Frenchman.
“Although people may not believe me because it comes from Real Madrid, I am very happy that things are going well because it is very good for football that things are going well for people like him,” added the city Boss added.
“If he did what he did, won three Champions League in a row and Barca took two La Liga titles when they dominated this competition like no other club in this decade, it shows his skills.”