Champions League

Mauricio Pochettino hails Pep Guardiola as the 'best manager in the world'

Tom Gott
Apr 28, 2021, 2:15 PM GMT+1
Mauricio Pochettino has praised Pep Guardiola
Mauricio Pochettino has praised Pep Guardiola | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has confessed he is looking forward to butting heads with Manchester City counterpart, who he sees as the best in the world at what he does.

The pair have a long history of competing against each other, beginning in Spain where Pochettino's Espanyol were the local rivals to Guardiola's Barcelona.

Mauricio Pochettino, Josep Guardiola
The pair have enjoyed some memorable battles | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Both managers eventually found their way to the Premier League, where Pochettino branded Guardiola 'disrespectful' for referring to his Tottenham side as 'the Harry Kane team' (via BBC Sport).

However, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final meeting between the two sides, Pochettino was keen to bury the hatchet and heap praise on Guardiola for all the success he has achieved throughout his career.

“For me, he is the best. I admire him," Pochettino said (via The Mirror). “I think he’s a doing a fantastic job not only in Manchester City but before with Barcelona and Bayern Munich and I think he’s an amazing coach with an amazing coaching staff too because I know all the people who work with him.

“For me, he’s a fantastic manager and he’s a coach always thinking of doing different strategies and different game-plans.

“It’s many things. He is a very intelligent coach who works really, really hard with all the coaching staff. A club like Manchester City that really gives him all the confidence to take all the decisions and be the real boss, that is the most important too.

“A club that trusts in you and gives all the elements and gives everything for you to build the team that you want and to take the decision that you think is the best for the club. It is not only the best manager, the club is important.

Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino admitted his respect for City's structure | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

“The club provides you with all the tools to be successful that is a combination that Manchester City between Pep, the coaching staff, the club, the board, everyone. They create an amazing structure, very solid, and very clear idea of how they need to act to take decisions and that is why they are successful. It is many things.”

In the 18 meetings between Pochettino and Guardiola, the Argentine has come out on the winning side just three times, the last of which was Spurs' 1-0 win in the 2018/19 Champions League quarter-final which set up the 4-3 thriller in the return leg.

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