Pep Guardiola admits Premier League managerial rival Jurgen Klopp has pushed him to scale new heights in English football.
And he loves his battles with the German so much that he would like to continue as Manchester City boss for the next decade. Guardiola will lock horns with Liverpool counterpart Klopp once again on Sunday when the two clubs clash in what promises to be an epic title showdown at the Etihad.
And Guardiola has revealed he would happily sign a new 10-year contract with City if he could – because his enduring battles with Klopp have made him want more.
Guardiola's current deal runs out at the end of next season and he would be willing to sign a new one. He said: "I'm under contract here and I'm so happy here. I'm willing to stay here forever. There cannot be a better place to be and I'd extend the contract for 10 years. It looks like when you praise your team, you praise yourself, but that's far away from my intention. My team, they are the best.
"But we absolutely wouldn’t be as good were it not for Liverpool. After 100 points, then we got 98 and they were just behind us. When you have someone pushing you, you have to make another step."
Guardiola believes Klopp's side has pushed his own one to unprecedented levels in recent times. And in a swipe at Jose Mourinho, has labelled Klopp the greatest managerial rival he's ever come up against in his career. After winning the title in 2017-18 with a staggering 100 points, Liverpool pushed City all the way the following season, amassing 97 points, only to lose out to City by a single one. The two giants have shared the last four league titles.
Where does Guardiola rank in the Premier League's best managers? Let us know in the comments section
Guardiola said: "In the last five years, they've been the biggest opponent. Jurgen, as a manager, has been the biggest rival I've ever had in my career and I think what both teams propose is good for football. In Munich I faced Jurgen for one year and we were there all the time. Apart from the year we made 100 points, then they made 99, the rest were tight. This point is not a jibe to Jose (Mourinho). He's an exciting manager and I was his rival, but I've been here five years and played many times against Liverpool."
Guardiola has likened his rivalry with Liverpool to the ones tennis legends Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have had between them down the years. And he knows Liverpool will be the club he remembers most when he's old and retired. The Spaniard, who has no intention of paying for a draw tomorrow, added: "I would say Nadal, Federer and Djokovic was two decades and we are five years, but in football, the situations run quicker and to sustain success is more difficult than other sports.
"When I'm retired and watching and playing golf, I'll remember my biggest rivals were Liverpool, for sure. The credit I give to both teams is the consistency through the years, it's not just winning one title. This is the most difficult thing in sport and that's why Federer, Nadal and Djokovic and athletes around the world, when they are there every year – chapeau – that makes me the most proud."
Source: Read Full Article