EPL

Emotional Guardiola lauds Liverpool legend Klopp as Man City rivalry ends

By Sports Desk May 19, 2024

An emotional Pep Guardiola offered his sincerest thanks to Jurgen Klopp for pushing Manchester City to new heights after their relentless Premier League battle with Liverpool.

Klopp's Reds are the only side to have stopped Man City from winning the top-flight title in the last seven seasons, with Liverpool taking the crown in 2019-20.

For all of the Liverpool and City rivalry, there has remained a mutual respect between Guardiola and Klopp, who faced off during their time with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund respectively as well.

Ahead of Klopp's departure from Anfield, the German labelled Guardiola as "the best manager in the world", suggesting no one else could achieve four straight titles with the City side that Guardiola managed.

After lifting a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League trophy following Sunday's 3-1 victory over West Ham, Guardiola was moved to tears when asked about Klopp.

"I will miss him a lot," he said as his voice wavered. "Jurgen has been a really important part of my life. He brought me to another level as a manager. We respect each other incredibly.

"I have the feeling he will be back and thank you so much for his words but he knows that behind me there is a lot that this club provides me with, otherwise alone I can't do it. I'm humble enough to understand that.

"He helps me with his team, he has been a huge competitor in my life. I didn't discover the way I can punish them like I can find for other teams. With him it has been so difficult."

City became the first team in English top-flight history to win the title in four consecutive seasons, having won the league in 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24.

The Citizens pipped Arsenal, whose win over Everton mattered for little on the final day, as Guardiola's former colleague Mikel Arteta continues to impress with the Gunners.

Guardiola referenced fellow Spaniard Arteta as he continued in his praise for Liverpool's Klopp, who enjoyed an emotional farewell at Anfield after the Reds' 2-0 victory over Wolves.

"I'm pretty sure Mikel [Arteta] will continue his legacy to drive us to another level," the Man City manager continued. I wish him all the best and hope his final game was special, he deserved it.

"He made Liverpool recognised with his stamp, and the incredible pride of being a Liverpool fan.

"It's not just about titles, there are personalities that when they arrive in one place they stay forever and Jurgen and Liverpool will be part of the level of [Bill] Shankly and [Bob] Paisley and these incredible legends."

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    “For me, every cap I got, every time I can have a chance to represent this country, it's an honour and I always try do my best. The journey has been special, but it has not ended. Hopefully, there's a lot more special moments to come, special nights, and special days, but, it's been a fantastic journey, one that I always treasure and want to be a part of for longer,” Hector noted.

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    Though only two caps into his international career, Harding, like Hector, is determined to play a key role in Jamaica's campaign, aiming to do his teammates and family proud on his long-awaited return.

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    Austin are winless in their last three games against their opponents, and head coach Josh Wolff expects another difficult encounter on Thursday. 

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    "We have got to do better with our chances. Our key players have to perform and execute."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Austin FC – Sebastian Driussi

    The Austin captain will hope to mark his 100th appearance for the club with a goal, and is currently the top scorer for the Verde and Black's with five goals. 

    LAFC – Mateusz Bogusz

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