Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has a respectful rivalry with Pep Guardiola – although he wishes his Manchester City counterpart had taken a four-year sabbatical instead of coming to England.
Since Guardiola joined the Premier League in 2016, the two managers have brought out the best in each other, with two of the last four title races decided by a single point.
At any other point in time, Klopp’s side would arguably have won two more championships than the ones they won in 2020, but they have come up against one of the greatest managers and teams in history.
Unlike Klopp, who is still under contract until 2026, Guardiola’s current contract expires next summer, but the city boss is relaxed about his future and expects talks during the World Cup break.
So would Klopp be happy if Guardiola left?
“I would prefer Pep to take a four-year sabbatical,” he said.
“Actually, I would have preferred it if he had had a sabbatical for the last four years. this is a joke
“I don’t know how many times I have to say it but he’s the best manager in the world and he proves it every day.
“It’s special what they do, really special, and I respect that.
“That’s good. I have no problem with the situation.”
On their personal relationship, Klopp added: “I’m not (Roger) Federer and Pep is not (Rafael) Nadal – they compete at the highest level and are best friends.
“Pep and I aren’t best friends because we don’t know each other, but I respect him a lot and I know he respects what we do too.
“We don’t have to be disrespectful for a rivalry.
“Around the games we have a good relationship without meeting and during the games we are both competitors.
“So far we’ve done really well cutting that out of all that stuff. I could always see brilliance or admit brilliance when I saw it, and in this case that’s the case.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/liverpool-man-city-klopp-guardiola-b2203624.html Jurgen Klopp: I wish title rival Pep Guardiola had taken a four-year hiatus