Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel enjoyed some “lively debate” with Manchester City rival Pep Guardiola – and poached some of his “craziest ideas”.
The footballing brains are going head-to-head in the Champions League final as they look to end the campaign with the biggest prize in European club football.
But it is a chance for the German to make it three wins from three against the Premier League winner, having bettered the Spaniard in the FA Cup and top flight.
Before arriving at Chelsea in January, Tuchel’s record against Guardiola stood at no wins from five game at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich.
The Blues boss, though, did not meet the City manager for the first time on the pitch as they quickly got onto a favourite topic.
Speaking to BT Sport in a pre-recorded interview of their coverage, the Blues boss said: “I was the coach at Mainz and the sporting director at Bayern Munich at the time brought us together and after five or 10 minutes of being a bit starstruck – because I was a huge fan when he was a player – we started to speak about football.
When asked how their conversation went, Tuchel simply said: “Lively debate.
"If you start to speak with Pep about football, it gets deeper and deeper very quickly and then sometimes it can help if you have some glasses around to show some positions on the field, some formations, and then we had a very lively debate about it.”
And Tuchel revealed that he did try and take some lessons from the time with his Champions League final opponents.
The Chelsea boss added: “When I meet with Pep, I go home and write things down to not forget it and it’s in my book, the craziest ideas he gave me, the thoughts he gave me about how to approach certain games, because I watched almost every game of his Barcelona team.”
But he also said: “I’m not trying to be him, or be the second best Pep or whatever, I try to be myself. He’s a huge influence and a super nice guy.”
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